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Usually a dark glossy red to almost black or a rich mohogany, plump and firm Chilean cherries offer a sweet, soft, juicy, rich red flesh.
This cherry, arriving fresh from Chile, has a peak season from the end of November to the end of December, stretching into January. Just in time to dress up the festive holidays with its cheerful good looks!
The United States is Chile's principal fruit export destination.
A good source of vitamin C and potassium, cherries offer a small amount of vitamin A, iron, and calcium. One cup, about five ounces, of raw sweet cherries contains about 90 calories.
This Chilean sweetie is best eaten simply out of hand. Sweet cherries make better tasting jellies and jams when combined with red currant or white currant juice, as they lack acidity. Cut in half; remove pits; add to fruit salad. Combine pitted, halved cherries with a little brandy; let marinate about fifteen minutes; blend in a bit of sour cream or yogurt, or a little of both. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds and minced tarragon. Sweet cream, ricotta cheese and mascarpone especially bring out the gentle tartness of ripe cherries. To highlight this fruit's delicious qualities, pair with sage, chives, verbena, or almonds. To make cherry soup, stir two cups water and one-half cup sugar until dissolved in a bowl. Puree two pounds fresh cherries, pitted, with a little of the sugar water; pour through a mesh strainer. Combine mixture with juice of one lemon and one cup heavy cream. Garnish with whole cherries; enjoy. Very perishable, use cherries promptly after purchase. If they must be stored, refrigerate up to three days.
A popular fruit for poets and painters, the cherry's magnificent beauty was captured to perfection by Dutch still-life artists of the seventeenth century. Of the poets who wrote of this fruit, Herrick is the best known, although he was not the first. Ancient Greek physicians used cherries to treat epilepsy. To this day, folk practitioners claim this fruit alleviates the pain of gout.
Native to western Asia, cultivated cherries are descended from two wild species, Prunus avium, the sweet varieties, and Prunus cerasus, the sour cherries. Growing on tall, handsome trees and dangling in pairs on long pedicels, these gorgeous spherical fruits hang in groups along the branches. Years of cross breeding have given the world many sweet cherries of mixed parentage. The United States provides the largest market for Chilean fruits. Technology advancement in Chile has resulted in outstanding fruit supplies.