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Lapin cherries are distinguished by their deep ruby red colored skin and their lush, plump size. The fruit's surface is smooth and rounded with a slight heart-shape and lustered finish. They produce flavors that are rich and sweet, without a trace of tartness. The texture is meaty and succulent with a juicy mouthfeel.
Lapin cherries are available during mid-summer months.
All cherries are members of the family, Prunus and are descendents of the wild cherry, Prunus avium. They are classified as stone fruits (fruits containing a singular central seed), alongside apricots, plums, peaches and almonds. Lapin cherries are a hybrid result of a Van and Stella cherry cross. They are a self-fertile, crack resistant, late blooming variety.
Lapin cherries inherently contain the red pigment, anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that are being heavily researched for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammation and pain reduction.
Lapin cherries are best suited for fresh eating. They pair well with other stone fruit, especially apricots. Other favorable pairings include burrata cheese, basil, smoked and seared tuna, hazelnut oil, pine nuts, fennel, pistachios, pancetta, arugula, mild lettuce greens, yogurt, vanilla, dark chocolate and berries such as blueberry and blackberry. Lapin cherries can be used for jams or pickling. They can be preserved in maraschino liqueur which is the classic recipe for marachino cherries. Sweeter cherries such as the Lapin are the best choice for preserving. They can also be used to make pies, cakes, ice cream and gelato.
Cherries are native to China. First documentation of cultivation dates back to 4000 B.C. The name, Lapin, is French for rabbit and the cherries were named for cherry breeding pioneer and horticulturist, Dr. Karl Lapin. Dr Lapin developed the cherries in the late 1930's for the Agriculture Canada Summerland Research Station in British Columbia. Lapin cherry trees flourish in Mediterranean climates and temperate climatic zones that experience four seasons. Trees are deep rooting; they will reach 15 feet in length and if pruned when dormant, produce lush white flowers and prolific fruit harvests.
Recipes that include Lapin Cherries. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Lapin Cherries using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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