Sweet cherry - Cerasus avium
The sweet cherry is a smooth-trunked fruit tree which can reach 10 to 20 m in height and 60 cm in diameter. The drupes are bright red and fleshy with a smooth stone and a glabrous, shiny skin and hang in groups of three or four from long thin stems attached to the bark.
Sour cherries - Prunus cerasus
- Montmorency and Morello ("griotte" in French) cherries - are used in pies, preserves, baking and desserts. Morello and Montmorency cherries are often put in jars, covered with eau-de-vie, and kept for an "out-of-season" treat. Maraschino, English cherries, etc.
- Sweet cherries - Prunus avium
- Sweet or mazzard cherry - these early red or black cherries are preferred for clafoutis and jams.
- Bigarreau (or bigaroon), Bing, wild cherry, etc.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 72 / 50; Water: 83%; Carbohydrates: 17 / 11 g; Fat: 0.9 / 0.3 g; Protein: 1.2 / 1 g.
Rich in vitamin A, a good source of vitamin B, potassium, calcium, and manganese.
Firm but with some give (never hard), unwrinkled and unblemished. They should be firmly attached to straight green stems, with a shiny, smooth and nicely-colored skin.
Be careful - cherries are highly perishable and their flavour can deteriorate rapidly depending on the weather.
Keep at room temperature if unripe. Cherries are fragile: they absorb odours easily and dry out quickly. Keep in a sealed container or plastic bag. The soft-fleshed varieties will keep for a week and the firmer-fleshed ones for two weeks. Add 100 g of sugar per kilogram to make them keep better and longer.
- Wash under cold water but never soak them.
- Remove the stones by making a small incision: cherry-pitters are also available to make this job easier.
- Take cherries out of the refrigerator an hour before eating.
- Cherries are wonderful additions to game, poultry and the renowned duck aux cerises.
- To begin your dinner party, a cherry macerated in balsamic vinegar is a wonderful counterpoint to chicken liver mousse.
- For compotes, cook with the stones in and remove them at the end of the cooking time to give added flavour.
- Since cherries are low in pectin, you will need to add pectin (or some other high-pectin fruit) when making jam.
France - Cherries are starred in soup in the Franche-Comté region, clafoutis in Berry, and kougelhof in Alsace.
Belgium- Sauce for guinea hen - sugar, beer, orange juice, red currant jelly, veal stock and sour cherries.
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