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Cherry Varieties - From Bing to Rainier

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Black Cherries (Sweet Cherries)
Cherry Varieties - From Bing to Rainier

Bing Cherries

Photo © Molly Watson
Slightly heart-shaped dark red sweet cherries are primarily grown on the West Coast. The "black" designation refers to the mahogany color of their flesh, only a few varieties have particularly dark skin. There are many varieties, the most well known of which is Bing, pictured above. Lambert, Chelan, Sweetheart, and Tulare are other names to look out for. They are wonderfully sweet - almost like candy - and juicy plump.

Black cherries are best eaten fresh and tend to turn to mealy mush when baked. Try them in this Fresh Black Cherry Tart where they are pitted and arranged on a pastry shell. I use Bing cherries to make Brandied Cherries with great success.

Look for shiny, taut-skinned black cherries at the market.

Note: Because there are so many varieties, the sweet cherry season starts in May and runs well into August. Learn more about sweet cherries with this quick Guide to Sweet Cherry Varieties.

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