What’s a drupe? It’s a fruit that has a fibrous outer cover, fleshy middle and one pit or stone – also called stone fruit. Drupes include peaches, plums, and at this time of year – the ubiquitous cherry.
Cherry season peaks in the summer, and according to the “Fruits and Veggies Matter” page on cherries, if you’re buying cherries past August, they probably aren’t fresh, but brought out of cold storage.
Bing cherries are the most prominent and popular sweet cherry variety. They’re deep red and turn almost black when they’re the most ripe. Ranier cherries are also sweet – and expensive, because fewer are grown – they are lighter in color, almost yellowish.
From a nutritional standpoint, cherries are a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of cherries has 90 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Watch out for dried cherries, they often have added sugar and less fiber per serving than the whole fruit varieties.
To learn more about cherries, visit the Cherry Marketing Institute’s website www.choosecherries.com and their nutrition page. If you’re not sure what to do with cherries beyond making cherry pie, the ChooseCherries site also has recipes, along with a number of recipes from Registered Dietitian Ellie Krieger of the Food Network.