Savoring the Taste of Summer
July marks the start of the Montmorency tart cherry season, as small family farms in North America harvest the ripe, red cherries. Generations-old family farms produce 94 percent of Montmorency tart cherries consumed in the United States. As the “Cherry Capital of the World,” the state of Michigan is responsible for growing two-thirds of all U.S. Montmorency tart cherries. Prominent cherry farms and contributors are in Utah and the North-East coast states Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Although Montmorency tart cherries are harvested in the summer, the delicious cherry can be found year-round in a variety of forms: dried, frozen, canned, juice and juice concentrate.
Beyond these opportunities, true cherry-lovers can preserve the delicious flavor of tart cherries season by turning the juicy fruit into a long-lasting jam. A tasty morning treat or fun gift for friends, Tart Cherry Champagne Jam makes it possible to enjoy the feeling of summer all year long.
The Benefits of the Bold Superfruit
Known as a traditional pie ingredient, Montmorency tart cherries are becoming more and more popular amongst health-conscious consumers due to their versatility, nutrient density, and health benefits. Said to be a vitamin A and C booster, tart cherries may lower the risk of gout attacks and also help with arthritis symptoms when consumed regularly.(1) Scientific evidence has also revealed that the natural Melatonin contained in tart cherries can have a positive impact on troubled sleeping habits.(2) A study from 2018 by Nutrients reported that tart cherries may have a positive effect on decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation.(3)
Delicious Recipes with the Red-Hot Ingredient
While tart cherries are popularly grown in the United States, the vibrant fruit has caught the attention of foodies around the world. Montmorency tart cherries are actually named after a valley in the northern suburbs of Paris, France, where tart cherries were first cultivated in the 18th century. A delightful French recipe highlighting the flavors of tart cherries is Mini Tart Cherry Galettes.
With today’s changing palates, the acidic notes of tart cherries can brighten up both sweet and savory foods and beverages.
Montmorency tart cherries can also add a pop of ruby red color, a nutrient punch, or a hint of sweet-tart flavor to breakfast oatmeal, porridge or smoothie bowls. Tart Cherry Ginger Muesli Yogurt Bowls can brighten up your morning and give you that energizing kick thanks to the ginger and tart combination.
The juicy and low-calorie tart cherries are also a great addition to a smoothie such as in the Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie.
A savory dish that nicely incorporates tart cherries is Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. Fresh from the oven, these peppers are baked with Montmorency tart cherries and stuffed with quinoa, garbanzo beans and fresh vegetables. A dish that is so easy to prepare and tastes absolutely amazing. The red cherries give the bell pepper filling an incredibly fresh touch.
Last, but not least, the all-time American classic Tart Cherry Pie with Spiced Pie Crust is without a doubt one of the most popular treats to bring to a family gathering or dinner invite. Impress your friends and family with this stunning pie!
The Trend for Sour
From pickled food to apple cider vinegar, the demand for sour foods and drinks seems to be a growing trend among consumers.
Tart cherries have become a favorite addition to the growing category of wellness shots – combined with turmeric or ginger. The antioxidant goodness of tart cherry juice plays well into a sweet flavored lemonade.
With a distinctive sweet/sour taste, unique nutrition profile, premium appeal, bright red color and U.S. grown status, tart cherries are an ideal ingredient for product developers looking to create new standout foods and beverages.
Interested in buying Montmorency tart cherries? Contact the Cherry Marketing Institute.
- 1 Is there a role for cherries in the management of gout?, Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2019; 11: 1759720X19847018.
- 2 Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality, Eur J Nutr 2012 Dec;51(8):909-16
- 3 A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries, Nutrients. 2018 Mar; 10(3): 368.