There are two main varieties of cherries in Australia: sweet cherries, the most common type, which are eaten fresh; and sour cherries, which are processed and used in baking. We focus on sweet cherries here.
Choose plump, brightly coloured, glossy cherries with healthy green stems. Avoid those that are small in size, have brown or damaged stems, or dull, soft or bruised skin.
Refrigerate cherries in a plastic bag and use as soon as possible. Eat cherries with broken stems first, as they last longer when their stems are whole.
Wash and eat on their own, or add to salads and otherdishes. Cherries can be cooked, but first remove their stems and stones.
4 quick ways with cherries
Add zest to any green salad with stoned cherries. Try any combination of sliced meat, cherries and nuts in your salad. Great flavour combinations to try are: turkey, cherries and almonds; or chicken, cherries, avocado and walnuts.
Try this sweet frappé as a summer afternoon snack. Blend about 20 stoned cherries and six pineapple rings in the blender with ice. You’ll boost your daily calcium, potassium, vitamin A and C levels.
Make a simple salsa by chopping and combining stoned cherries, red onion, coriander and lemon or lime juice. The perfect complement to grilled pork or chicken.
Indulge your sweet tooth with a healthy treat. Place chunks of sponge cake or jam sponge roll into a serving glass. Add some light custard and stoned, roughly chopped cherries. Sprinkle with grated dark chocolate and you’ll have a delicious dessert that will have everyone drooling.
Did you know? Cherries are a rich source of melatonin, which helps induce sleep and eases jet lag. They can also slow the effects of ageing, and potentially delay age-related illnesses.