What’s the Big Deal About Ontario Sour (Tart) Cherries?

Fresh Ontario Sour Cherries

Here at Vince’s Market, we are now taking orders for 5kg pails of Ontario Sour Cherries at all Vince’s locations. We expect them to be picked this week and available for sale by next week. So for those of you that have never heard or tried these cherries, you may be asking yourself, what do I do with them and what is the big deal?

Sweet versus sour cherries: What’s the difference?

Sweets are eating cherries while sour cherries tend to be a bit mouth-puckering, but are perfect for everything else: use them in jams, pies, ice cream, juices, compotes and beyond.

A firmer fruit, they hold up when cooked, baked or otherwise processed, and as they
cook, their tartness mellows to a mild sweetness.

Cherry Lore

it’s not all about pie. Sour cherries have a long, fascinating history rich with mythology and lore. It is said that a cherry tree offered its fruit to Maya, the virgin mother of Buddha, to keep her
full and well during pregnancy. In North America, Aboriginal people discovered the cherry’s medicinal properties; bark, leaves, fruit – all had their own benefits, from soothing tummy aches to sore throats.

Modern research is discovering that sour cherries possess a compound that relives pain, and there is mounting research that sour cherries are one of the most powerful superfoods. They’re rich in health-promoting, cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory antioxidants, as well as high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. And that’s not all! Sour cherries are one of the few known natural food sources to contain the hormone melatonin, a mood enhancer and sleep aid.

For more information, click here for some pretty interesting info. The other thing to remember is these are totally a seasonal item with a very narrow picking window. Cherry trees in Ontario only get one pick, so once they’re gone, they’re gone. This is why they are sold in pails and in bulk, as they can be frozen for future use.

We recommend getting them fresh. Make your jams, compotes and preservatives and then freeze remaining for pie filling.

We love to hear from you. What’s your favourite sour cherry recipe?  Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one.

Until next time,

Giancarlo

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