There are people who do not want cherries, but we are sure that there are more who love it. We know the fruit as that small, heart shaped, red fruit topped in many cakes, patisseries, soft serves, beverages, and more.
But there is more to cherry than these because well, there are more than 70 varieties of cherries and in this post, we will give a rundown of the most popular ones.
So, if you are a cherry fan, enthusiast, or just plainly curious about how many cherries are there, sift through this post and enjoy.
Table of Contents
Types of cherries
Varieties under this cherry type are best eaten raw because of their delectable, sweet taste. As trees, they have a pyramid shape and are small to medium size growers.
Fruits of sweet cherries commonly look like cherry tomatoes. Famous sweet cherries would be Bing, Stella, and Lapin.
Dark Red cherries
They are also referred to as black cherries because of their deep red, purple to black colors, and deep red to mahogany flesh.
They have the highest content of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A, C, and E. In the US, dark red cherries are primarily grown in the west coast.
When talking about yellow cherries, we are particularly looking at Rainier cherries. They have a golden yellow color with a blush of faint red. They are also very sweet and can be eaten raw.
Collectively, all maraschino cherries are now called red cherries. They are the crossover of sweet and sour cherries. Red cherries are bred to become bright red or ruby red in color.
In contrast to sweet cherries, they cannot be eaten raw. This type is usually used for cooking and in making jams, preserves, and liqueurs. Most sour cherries are self-fertile and are generally smaller in size compared to sweet cherries.
1. Bing cherries
This is the most popular cherries in the world. It is basically our mental image of what cherries are, with that dark red color, and heart shape.
The farming and harvesting of Bing is used as the measurement for all harvesting of other varieties of cherries. They are firm, large, and very juicy with a distinct sweet and tangy aftertaste.
2. Lapins Cherries
This one is a crossbreed between Stella and Vans. They are small cherries, with sweet and flavorful taste and a distinct hard red color.
It is a sweet cherry which ripens two weeks after the Bing cherries are harvested. They are only available for at least three weeks in markets.
3. Tulare Cherries
If you want the tartiest cherry with a tangy aftertaste, this one is the one you should try. When it comes to color, it highly resembles Chelan and Bing. It is considered as a second-generation Bing seedling and is massively grown in California.
4. Rainier Cherries
This yellow cherry is not just sweet but also dreamy looking. It is two-toned, yellow and a splash of red, with mildly sweet flavor and distinct tartness in it.
They are mostly available during August. It is named after Mt. Rainier in Washington because it is where it is grown mainly.
5. Sweetheart Cherries
This one is one of the latest varieties to ripen. It is firm, with a unique taste and crunchy texture that makes it good for eating after picking.
They are also used for canned cherries, jams, preserves, and cherry desserts. They are also very hardy, making them good for shipping.
6. Stella Cherries
This one is an orchard favorite. Aside from its fruits, it also offers a beautiful floral display during spring and then another display of ruby red cherries during summer.
The skin is shiny, and the flesh is firm, and good to be eaten fresh or turned into jams or incorporated in baked goods. It is self-pollinating but if you have cherry trees around that are not, it is also a prolific cross-pollinator.
7. Lambert Cherries
This is one of the largest cherries with an even ruby red color. They can be eaten fresh because of their very sweet taste and are also popular among bakers because they can retain their moisture even after cooking.
They are accessible all through summer with some varieties even extending up to August.
8. Chelan Cherries
They are also known as black cherries native to the Pacific northwest. It is small, round, and firm, with mild sweetness. It has a very sweet smell and a deep mahogany red color. It has one of the longest shelf lives and is hardy to rain cracking.
9. Black Cherries
As the name suggests, black cherries have a darker hue, almost black, compared to other cherry varieties. They are sometimes associated with chokecherries, but black cherries are way sweeter and taller.
They are usually used in soft serves like yogurt or sorbet. They are also popular for baked goods especially in making puddings.
10. Royal Ann Cherry
It is often confused with the Rainier because of its soft red blush but biting into it would set the difference because this one has a stronger sweet and sour flavor and tangier aftertaste.
It is literally the ‘cherry on top’ for various drinks, desserts, creamy baked goods and one of the varieties used in making maraschino.
11. Van Cherries
They are cold-hardy trees, featuring reddish-black, shiny skin. They are available during midsummer.
They are a very versatile bunch that can be eaten fresh, or incorporated in desserts (sorbets), jams and preserves, baked goods, and savory dishes (which includes meats, herbs, spices, cheeses).
12. Montmorency Cherries
This is one of the oldest cherry varieties, dating back to at least a hundred years from France. It is also considered as the most widely grown and distributed tart cherry used in classic jams and preserve brands.
It is also used for baked goods or can be eaten fresh thanks to its strong tarty taste. They have an even luscious red color, oval shaped, and medium sized.
13. Skeena Cherries
This one ripens at the same time as the Lapin. They are large, firm cherries with dark red (almost black) skin. It has a very sweet and strong taste making it perfect to be eaten fresh, added in rolled oats, pureed for drinks, and for desserts.
14. Morello Cherries
This one is a sour cherry used in making jams, preserves, as well as liquors. In the UK, morello cherries are considered as the most popular cooking cherries and have been bred for over four centuries now.
Aside for their culinary significance, they are also planted for their showy, durable blooms, and hardy trees.
15. Maraschino Cherries
The term maraschino does not refer to the cherry itself but to a method of cherry preservation. Mascara cherries are soaked in distilled mascara cherries called maraschino liqueur.
Now, maraschino cherries are made from combinations of sweet and sour cherries. They are made as syrup or liquor and preserved to be used as garnish brandy, milkshakes, and are used for baked goods.
16. Coral Cherries
This one is a crossbreed between Coral and Champagne cherries and often paired with Mazzard and Colt nowadays. It became popular over the last decade, bearing large, sweet fruits, widely grown in California.
It has a deep red color, with shiny, coral texture. They are good in building home orchards and in commercial production.
17. Utah Giant Cherries
This one is a mid-season cherry that is dependent on other sweet cherries for pollination. The most popular cherries to grow alongside it would be Bing and Lambert because they bloom at the same time as Utah Giant does.
As the name implies, it is grown mainly in Utah and is larger, taller (16-16ft at maturity) and sweeter than Bing. Utah Giant cherries are mainly used for canning, baked goods, and fresh eating.
18. Attika Cherries
If you need something hardy to surround your home orchard, this one is a good choice. Also known as Kordia cherries, they are long, heart-shaped cherries with strong and sweet taste. They originate from Czech Republic known for being resistant to rain cracking and are durable for transport.
19. Benton Cherries
It is considered as Bing’s twin not only because they are both mainly grown in Washington but also because of lots of similarities.
But unlike Bing, Benton is more marketable because it is more resistant to various cherry diseases since it is a crossbreed between the hardy and self-fertile Stella and the Beaulieu which is known for ripening easily.
20. Cowiche Cherries
This one has a similar growth habit with Bing and was developed at WSU using Lapins as mother plant at the same time as Kiona.
It is known for its high sugar content, shiny, dark red skin, and pinkish red flesh. It is a late season cherry with the blend of strong and sweet taste.
21. Regina Cherries
Bred in Germany in 1998, this one is known for its sweet, tarty flavor, dark red flesh and luscious dark red to dark purple when fully ripe. It is durable for transport as it is resistant to rain cracking and splitting.
It is self-sterile so if you intend to make an orchard featuring Regina, it is advised that you plant Van or Stella alongside it.
22. Index Cherries
This one is an early-season cherry notable for its dark red color and bright pinkish-red flesh. It is firm and sweet and grows from medium to large size.
23. Kiona Cherries
It was developed along with Cowiche, has a similar growth habit with Bing but is less productive but more spreading. It has red to dark purple fruits which ripen 6-9 days after Bing. It is an early bloomer known for its sweet taste. It can be eaten fresh.
24. Santina Cherries
This is an averaged size black cherry known for its distinct sweetness and dark red, and luminous skin. It is oval shaped, bred in British Columbia in the 1960s.
It ripens early and becomes available in June. They can be eaten fresh but are also used in cakes and pastries such as cherry-based desserts, cheesecakes and pies.
25. Selah Cherries
It is one of the newly bred cherry varieties which bear fruits at the same time as the Lapin. It was developed mainly for commercial production and as such, have larger and sweeter fruits and are more resistant to rain cracking and other diseases.
26. Stardust Cherries
It is considered as a blush variety because it has hints of red, yellow, and cream-colored skin and white flesh. It is very rare in market shelves and is considered as the sweetest and first self-pollinating white cherry variety.
27. Tieton Cherries
This one is an early grower, known for its large, mahogany red, and shiny fruit. It is considered as one of the three earliest grown cherry varieties from the Pacific northwest. It is used in making cherry cider as well as in baked goods and other cherry liqueur.
Sweet Cherry vs Tart Cherry
There are a lot of differences between the sweet cherry and the tart cherry. Some people get confused with these two so let us find out the major differences.
Tart cherries are ruby red in color and will retain this bold hue even after it is harvested, refrigerated, and dried. Sweet cherries on the other hand are darker, leaning more towards blue or purple.
Consumption and availability
Sweet cherries are the ones consumed fresh while tart cherries are favorites when dried, frozen, or juiced. In terms of availability, tart cherries are available year-round while sweet cherries can only be seen in supermarkets for a short time.
Tart cherries are also called sour cherries because of its distinct sweet-sour taste. On the other hand, sweet cherries are well, sweet and can get sweeter depending on the region it is grown and the climatic conditions of that region.
Health benefits of cherries
Both tart and sweet cherries are rich in antioxidants. These compounds are helpful in repairing damaged cells, immunity, metabolism, and in fighting aging. Other than these, cherries have a major contribution on the following:
- It is packed with nutrients. This includes minerals, vitamins, fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium.
- Rich in anti-inflammatory components.
- Helps in fighting cellular damage and helps protect the body against risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Contributes to faster muscle recovery and in relieving pain. It also helps in improving symptoms of arthritis as well as gout.
- It helps in improving sleep quality. Researchers have already established that cherries are also high in melatonin, a chemical that helps us in getting good sleep.
With all these health benefits, it is another good news that cherries are very easy to prepare. They can be incorporated in hearty snacks and can also be tossed in full meals as well as juiced for refreshing drinks.
Which country Cherry is the best?
The best cherries are said to be found in the USA, specifically that they grow some of the considered best cherry varieties in the world such as Bing, Rainier, and King, among others.
Sweet cherries are farmed and harvested in Washington, Oregon, and California while tart cherries mainly come from Michigan.
Where are cherries mainly grown?
Cherries are native to the northern hemisphere and in eastern Asia. But through the years, the concentration of growing cherries has been in Europe and the United States.
The top 5 countries when it comes to cherry growing, farming, harvesting, and distribution would be Turkey, the US, Iran, Italy, and Spain.
Do cherries have a lot of sugar?
All fruits have sugar in them, that makes them sweet and delectable. For cherries, research suggests that a cup of cherry, regardless if it is sweet or tart, would contain at least 18g of sugar.
So, even if it has lots of fiber, and other health benefits, you still must be wary about how much cherry you eat, especially if you have hyperglycemia.
Cherries have a certain classy taste in them that make us go wild when we see one. They can be eaten fresh, dried, and frozen to be topped on rolled oats, added to fruit bowls, juiced, or incorporated in other hearty meals. Knowing that cherries come in different types of varieties brings our regard to this wonder fruit to whole new levels.
With these, you can now schedule cherry tasting, hopping from cherry farms to the next and familiarize yourself with these varieties of cherries.