Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Time for Tart Cherries!

Tart Cherry Cherry on Tree

I had the pleasure last week of traveling to Michigan to learn everything there is to know about tart cherries.  What a beautiful state and what an amazing fruit! I had no idea that tart cherries contain so many health benefits.  Did you know that tart cherries are one of the few food sources of Melatonin? New research is also showing that tart cherries might have potent anti-inflammatory benefits.

All the health benefits are great, but you know I’m more interested in how they taste!  I’ve always heard that tart cherries make the best pies (this was proven in Traverse City), and dried cherries were wonderful in those dark chocolate cherry cookies I wrote about a while back.  However, I never really thought to use them in savory dishes. But after the wonderful tart cherry pulled pork I ate at Cherry Republic, there are all kinds of new recipe ideas swimming around my head!

Since we don’t have access to fresh tart cherries here in California, I plan on creating some recipes using the more readily available dried cherries, which I have become totally addicted to over the last couple of years.  I am also anxiously awaiting delivery of some tart cherry juice concentrate, which is not only healthy but absolutely delicious and a great drink mixer!  Tart Cherry Mojitos, anyone?

Ok, so it turns out that this wasn’t a wordless wednesday after all.  But I have many more words and photos to share with you about the recent trips I’ve taken!  And of course I still owe you a post about Cinnamon Buns, courtesy of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge.  I’m a little off schedule in my writing, but my bread baking continues and I plan on getting caught up by the end of the week.

Happy Wednesday!

  1. Andrea

    When I read that you were going to the Cherry Festival, I had pangs of jealousy. My sister lives in MI and was working a booth at the festival. Unfortunately the dates conflicted with our family vacation, but someday…

    9:48 am  Jul 15th, 2009
  2. Jeff

    I wish I would have known about this sooner because I am only a couple hours away from there. Would have loved to run up just to steal as many cherries as I possibly can.

    Happy to hear you had a fun trip!

    9:52 am  Jul 15th, 2009
  3. Sarah

    Yay for Michigan! That’s where I live! Traverse City and Lake Michigan are beautiful. Glad you got to experience the cherries!

    11:46 am  Jul 15th, 2009
  4. Emily

    I know you live in Southern California, but there is a farm called Lagier that attends local markets in the SF Bay Area. They grow sour cherries! So if you’re up here during the season, seek them out….and maybe you’ll have luck finding them at your local markets down there?

    12:57 pm  Jul 15th, 2009
  5. Kathy

    stunning photo !

    1:16 pm  Jul 15th, 2009
  6. Mary Marois

    Was great meeting you and setting by you at dinner at the top of the Park; love your website, will visit often. Hope you can come back to Traverse City in the future. Keep up the great work. Mary

    4:43 pm  Jul 15th, 2009
  7. Lily

    Nicole, I just saw tart cherries at the Berkeley Bowl this evening — and wondered what to do with them. You’ve obviously read my mind!!

    10:38 pm  Jul 15th, 2009
  8. Jim

    I started growing up in TC, havn’t finished yet liked you liked the area.

    4:32 am  Jul 16th, 2009
  9. Ben

    What a beautiful picture! I’ve also read a lot about the benefits of cherries, and I bet they make delicious pies. I have yet to try it.

    5:21 am  Jul 16th, 2009
  10. Dustin

    I’m anxious to hear about your trip to Michigan…hopefully you liked more than the cherries.

    10:59 am  Jul 18th, 2009
  11. Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

    I too am really into using sour cherries right now. The Green Market in Union Square in NYC has a stand that has a lot of sour cherries, as well as sour cherry juice. My current favorite way to use the juice is in my <ahref=”” Sour Cherry Salty Dog Cocktail. It’s super refreshing and fun to drink.

    8:43 am  Jul 20th, 2009
  12. Amanda

    Awesome! I have a neighbor just a few doors down with a sour cherry tree. He let me pick all that I wanted and I made a cake, now I have a bunch sitting in the fridge ready for use 😉

    5:08 am  Jul 21st, 2009
  13. Susan

    We are in love with tart cherries too! Living in NW Michigan cherry country is a
    beautiful thing. My husband and I have picked and dried 75#s of delicious tart
    cherries over the last week. We are hoping the season lasts long enough to give
    us another 75#s. We use them all year long, and give the dried delicacies as gifts
    to family and friends. It is great to find another soul who shares our passion.

    10:53 am  Jul 31st, 2009
  14. Julia

    Gosh! I miss tart cherries soooo much. I”m originally from the Ukraine… and July-Aug is tart-cherry season. We now live in So Cali….. Where do i find me some tart cherries???

    12:52 pm  Aug 4th, 2009
  15. JeffB

    Great blog! I am a home brewer and have been getting into the tart and sour ales of the Belgian tradition. Many of those beers use tart cherries, but I have yet to find a good source of tart cherries here in San Diego, or one at a reasonable price online. Do you happen to know of any locally? Also, what was your experience using teh juice, was it close to the original?


    7:20 pm  Aug 19th, 2009
  16. mmk (Ex-Michigander)

    Did you try the chocolate chilli cherries from Cherry Republic? Something to savour slowly and enjoy the little zing at the end.

    4:25 pm  Feb 27th, 2010
  17. Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts — Pinch My Salt

    […] was lucky enough to meet Ms. Krieger last year during my cherry trip to Michigan.  She did a quick cooking demonstration using tart cherries for a handful of bloggers, myself […]

    2:51 am  Jun 10th, 2010
  18. Melissa

    Cherry Tyme Sour Cherries is located 10 miles west of Palmdale in the Antelope Valley area of northern Los Angeles County, Ca.

    We raise 3 types of sour cherries which include, montmorency, balaton, and English morello.

    Out target opening date this year (2010) is July 3. We are open to the public on a ”you pick your own” basis. If you would like to be on our mailing list, send your name to

    C’mon out and enjoy a day of gathering sour cherries.

    11:26 am  Jun 19th, 2010
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