Cherries are drupes or stone Fruits. They are related to plums, peaches, and nectarines. It is believed that the sweets originated in Asia Minor between the Black and Caspian seas. The word cherry comes from the French word ‘Cerise,’ which comes from the Latin word cerium and cerasus. During 600 BC China regarded cherries as fit for royalty and cherished by locals. It is estimated that the United States has more than 1000 varieties.
out of them, about ten are produced commercially. Cherries are also used as a dessert fruit. They were also used for medicinal purposes in the 15th and 16th centuries. Let me share a fact with you about Americans: Americans consume an average of 1.5 pounds of cherries yearly. Here are some other facts about cherries which will fascinate you.
Interesting Facts about Cherries
Stone Age – Cherries have been consumed since the stone age. Archaeologists have discovered fossilized cherry pits in the prehistoric caves of Europe and Asia. The Greek Author Theophrastus mentioned cherries in his book History of Plants in 300 BCE. A Greek Author and physician, Diphilus of Siphons, also wrote about cherries and their usefulness as a diuretic.
Roman Soldiers !! – Romans soldiers had an extraordinary relationship with cherries. It is believed that these berries were part of soldiers’ ration, and as they traveled, the pits they discarded became trees that proliferated and flourished throughout the Roman Empire. It was also said that if you wish to get to the old Roman roads, follow the wild cherry trees.
George Washington – You know that George Washington never cut down a cherry tree. We all have learned in the poem as kids, but there is no factual evidence that the president didn’t chop down any of these fruit-bearing trees. Parson Mason Weems created this myth. To illustrate the president’s integrity and honesty, we wrote this story in a biography of Washington.
Let’s count cherries – We can estimate the number of cherries in an average tree. Well, if we calculate, a cherry tree bears about 7,000 cherries. That means a single person is capable enough to make 28 pies or a few of our favorite cherry desserts!!
Turkey – The leading producer of cherries is Turkey. For a few years in the 80s, the U.S was the top producer of cherry. But in 1990, Turkey dethroned the U.S. from this position and claimed the title. Today, Turkey produces 535,000 tons of cherries annually, whereas the US produces 345,000. Turkey’s soil is quite fertile and well suited for the growth and development of cherries as cherries originated from Asia Minor, which includes modern-day Turkey.
Types – If we think of the type of cherries, then cherries are divided into two main types, which include sweet and tart. Tart cherries are mainly grown in Michigan and Wisconsin. If we talk about the most common cherry, it is the Bing cherry, followed by Lambert, and then gold-toned Rainier. Sweet cherries are generally consumed or eaten fresh as a fun snack.
If you are interested in tart types of cherries, then you must know about the most common type of tart cherry Montmorency. The tart cherries are generally used for baking because they hold their shape better than their fellow cherries. The tartness of tart cherry helps the baker adjust the pie’s sweetness level. The most famous dish made from tart cherries is the cherry streusel tart. Don’t forget to taste it.
Traverse City – Michigan is called the Transverse city. It is also called the cherry capital of the world. Today Michigan is one of the leading cities in the production of cherry business. It holds land of more than 30 000 acres for cherry production. The region of the transverse city holds a census of about 4 million trees, producing about 150 to 200 million pounds of tart cherries annually. This city also organizes the National Cherry festival. This grand festival started in the 1920s as a ceremony called “blessings of the blossom.” Over time, it turned into a weeklong celebration attended by people from every nook and corner of the globe.
Zachary Taylor – To begin with, let’s start with a beautiful story. It was the year 1850 on a hot fourth of July. Zachary Taylor was on his regular walk, and suddenly he paused after a very long walk and started to enjoy his glass of milk and bowl of cherries.
However, in the latter half of the day, he developed a severe Stomachache. The symptoms quickly deteriorated, and Taylor was found dead four days later. The reason for this death was unknown to many people. However, experts speculated that Taylor’s demise was due to salmonella in cherries or in the milk he drank.
Harvesting in 7 seconds – Yes, you read it right. Now you can harvest the cherries in just 7 seconds. This miracle was only possible when mechanical tree shakers were introduced. Initially, the manual hand-picking method was quite laborious, tedious, and cumbersome. To enhance efficiency and save time, mechanical tree shakers were introduced. So if you ever pay a visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, do not expect to pick cherries while there.
Cherry tree with no fruit – Despite the name cherry, Japanese cherry trees don’t always produce cherries. Most of the cherry varieties are ornamental, not fruit-bearing, cherry trees. Can you name some other varieties of cherries that do not bear fruits?
Cherryland – Once upon a time, Door County of the U.S. was regarded as the No. 1 cherry grower. That’s why Door County was nicknamed Cherryland USA. During the 1950s, it produced around 95 percent of total USA tart cherries. It accounts for approximately 1 million cherry trees.
However, in the present scenario, Door County is producing cherry under the land of 2500 acres. It will not be wrong to say that the residents of Door County pride themselves on their cherry production. You will likely find a special cherry dish on their Menu.
Bing cherries – Bing cherries are not named for Bing Crosby. They are named for an orchard foreman named Ah Bing. Ah, Bing with cherry farmer Seth Lewelling developed a dark red varietal in the 19th century near Milwaukee, Oregon. Lewelling named these cherries in honor of Bing.
Ideal weather – It is scientifically proven that the Midwest has ideal weather conditions for growing tart cherries. There is no coincidence that Michigan and Wisconsin produce so many cherries. The land of Lake Michigan is ideal for good cherry cultivation.
Cherry cultivation avoids early Frost, and the light wind helps in the pollination of trees. Alkaline soil and shallow limestone are quite beneficial for the profuse growth and development of cherries.
Cherries are considered to be the most beautiful and tasty fruit. These drupes come in sweet and tart types. From lamberts to lapins to Rainers and Royal Ann’s, there are more than 500 varieties of sweet cherries and almost as many tarts as one.
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