Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

A Simply Sweet Cherry Fest

I’ve got some juicy, plump, sweet news to share: it’s time for cherries, especially at Whole Foods Market®! Cherry Fest is our annual celebration of fresh cherries, one of the most anticipated fruits we sell. Whether creating something savory or sweet, or simply diving into a heaping bowl of chilled cherries, now is the time to celebrate this peak-season fruit and our stores are the place to find them. We source the best cherries – and plenty of them – so our stores have enough cherries for all of your cherry needs.

Now that you know where to find them, let’s talk about how to select the tastiest cherries. Here are a five steps to help you…well, you know, cherry-pick the best of the basket.

How to Pick a Sweet Cherry

Check the stems. Fresh cherries have green stems

Give them a feel. Cherries should be firm, no soft spots or bruising

Look for the good color. Depending on variety, ideally they should be deep, bright red to mahogany

Give them the once over. Fruit should be free of insect damage and pitting (little indentations caused by dehydration)

Give them a taste. Be sure the amount of sugar in the fruit is high

Oh, and size matters for cherries. Keep in mind the larger the cherry, the more fruit (less pit) you get. We want you to celebrate Cherry Fest in a big way too, so we’re giving away a case of cherries to five randomly selected winners! Yes, a whole case of cherries! (“How much is a case?” you ask. It’s a lot – about 10 pounds of cherries – enough to bake ‘em, preserve ‘em, dry ‘em, freeze ‘em and still have some for snacking on.) All we want to know is what you would do with a whole case of cherries. UPDATE: Thank you to everyone that entered. Congratulations to our winners, Patti, Becky and Vanessa.

Tell us in the comments below by July 11 and you could win! 

The fine print: These are red Washington cherries and will be shipped directly to you from our farmer partners. Depending on availability and quality, they may be organic or conventional. No purchase necessary. Promotion ends July 11, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible.

Void where prohibited.

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10216 comments

Comments

Crystal S. says …

Let's see...cherry pie, cherry jam, cherry juice, cherry preserves, cherry cobbler. Can't get enough of cherries and I would make the most out of them! sellcrystal2 (at) yahoo dot com

Joan Coussoule says …

Piess, tarts and jellies. Yum

Rainey says …

I would share them with my family and have a get together will all the kids and have some summer fun. YUM YUM!!!

Ann says …

If I won a case of cherries I would make a few pies, one for immediate consumption and a couple to freeze for the winter holidays and the rest I would bring to work and share with everyone. Always a nice treat.

Lisa says …

I haven't had cherries in years so winning a case would let me: eat as many as I want; dehydrate some to use in the winter with oatmeal or muffins; and bake a few cherry pies to give to friends.

liza says …

I I would eat them plain. My other plans would be to make cherry sorbet, cherry ice cream, cherry muffins then of course freeze some to enjoy the rest of the year.

Jim says …

Some pies, some smoothies, and a whole lot of spitting pits!

lynn spencer says …

I would eat a whole bunch and then can a bunch (jelly, whole)for the cold winter months

Trudy Crow says …

Oh Lordy! I'd eat them, bake some scrumptious cobblers, and then ROLL around in the pits and get red stained all over! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cherries!

Aimee says …

Mmmmmm! I love, love, LOVE cherries! I love to eat them just as they are, but, I'd also love to make some vanilla cherry ice cream (just slice the cherries in half)....and, a few tarts...easy to make.

Kristen Seguin says …

I would can then so I'd have them all winter to make pies to share with everyone!!!

celeste says …

I would eat some, share some, make cherry ice cream and cherry turnovers, and then freeze the rest so I can eat, share and make more ice cream later.

Angie says …

I would eat as many as I could and then would freeze the rest for cherry pie throughout the winter. Growing up, my grandparents had a cherry tree in the back yard and we picked and froze cherries throughout the summer for cherry pie and cobblers in the winter. Oh my those were good!

Miriam Imerman says …

What to do with a whole case of sweet cherries? First, I would do a Victory Dance around my favorite summer fruit, making sure no one is watching (too closely - my dancing isn't what it should be). Then, I would wash just enough of my prize to overeat at one sitting--probably about a pound's worth. Then, it's a race to the Internet, to find some new recipes for sweet cherries. Then, it's off to Whole Foods, to procure the rest of the ingredients needed to complete the recipes I select. Finally, I don my apron and get to work, eating as many of my prize hoard as possible as I cook. All while thinking fondly of my Whole Foods friends who've made this happy time possible. Life's a big bowl of cherries, and we can deal with the pits!

Elisabeth Lanjuin says …

My philosophy is to eat cherries everyday during cherry season. How would I finish ten pounds, eat, make compote, make duck with cherry sauce, clafouti. Can I win two cases?

calleen says …

the best gift was a cherry pitter instrument....we eat more cherries now than ever, plus make sauce, buy one, it's the best kitchen gadget ever....

Carmine Forcinito says …

I would make fresh chery juice

Jackie Relaford says …

I would share them with everyone who wanted some telling them I won the Cherry Fest Giveaway at Whole Foods.

Mei says …

I would wash and dry them well. I would eat them all day long. Being pregnant with twins I need all the nutrients from berries. I can devour them like there is no tomorrow. I would also share my wealth with friends and family. I hope I WIN.

Marilyn says …

A case of cherries?! I would love that! Since there are seven fruit lovers in the household, we would all stand around eating the cherries and spitting the pits in the trash. I think it would take us about 3 days to finish them all off. And if it doesn't look like we can, we have family living next door that will help us.

Carla says …

As a child, I often spent Cherry Week at my grandparents' home, where they kept a small orchard. My grandfather and I picked cherries before he left for work, and then my grandmother and I spent the day pitting, slicing, canning, freezing, and baking. We ate cherries morning, noon, and night; I could not eat enough of her fried cherry turnovers. I would use my crate of cherries to replicate on a small scale her annual work for that week, as well as create some new memories with my own grandson, who loves making homemade ice cream with Grammie and would probably welcome cherries into that mix. How happy my dear grandparents would be to know that I too had a bounty of cherries to share with their great-great-grandson in a celebration of food and family memories!

Heather says …

Oh, what I'd do with a case of cherries! Well, many would just be used for some serious noshing, but I would probably have to preserve a bunch for some more serious noshing at a later date! Of course I would share in this with my family and friends as delicious and juicy cherries are not to be kept to oneself. I would also use some in a wonderful recipe I found on Whole Foods site for a vegan berry crisp desert, substituting the berries with cherries. Now that would be delish! Maybe a pie or two to share as well (with home-made crust, of course.) Oh, I hope I win. I just LOVE cherries!

Natalie says …

I would use them for ice cream and pies.

Donna says …

Eat some of the fresh cherries, of course! The rest can be frozen and some canned in brandy or as jelly to give as giftsat the holidays. It would be great to open some brandied cherries or homemade jelly in the winter when we are all craving the taste of summer.

NANCI says …

Share.....the best way to enjoy good fortune is to share the wonderful winning Cherries and to know that they are free of pesticides and were produced with best agricultural practices. I would bring half to the food bank and have half to share with friends, family, business colleagues and patients (I am a home health occupational therapist)...I think there are oodles of inspirational concepts associated with cherries. They would bring joy and be seriously yummy. I think it is impossible to look at a bowl full of cherries and NOT smile. We are after all in the back yard of Erma Bombeck (of blessed memory)......

Diana Sargent says …

Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. I would make a pillow nest in the bed, and eat them. Eat each and every one of them, slowly. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. I love cherries.

Katt says …

I would have a cherry party with the whole family!

Christine Sarver says …

I would give some to my mother who really enjoys fresh cherries but is also on a fixed income. My daughter can eat her weight i cherries. Her birthday is in January and does not care for cake so every year she requests a cherry cobbler. Therefore, I would freeze, dehydrate, preserve the cherries for the dreary winter months. Cherry jelly/jam -- yum yum! Thank you

Laura Brown says …

I would cherish every single one and soak up all those anti-oxidants! My teenagers would definitely have cherry stem know tying contests!!!

Mim says …

This year, I have been infatuated more than ever with cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I have had a difficult time keeping my fridge stocked with these fruits. I am embarrassed to admit I have, more than once, strategically hid the cherries and berries in the refrigerator so I don't have to share them! If I were to win this many cherries, maybe there would finally be enough to cheerfully share them!! I would have a brunch at my home for my husband's and my family ( who live in town) with a huge bowl of cherries to share. This might ease my conscious about the hiding situation! Also, I would artfully decorate them in small containers to share with my patients ( I am a physician ), to brighten their day!

melissa says …

I'd bake cherry pie of course. :-) then make some smoothies and eat them straight. I'd freeze the rest.

Rebekah says …

I'd eat some right away of course, make Jam for Christmas presents, and have plenty left over to freeze. I use frozen fruits mixed with yogurt & milk for smoothies, defrost to make fruited breads, and serve with sweetened cream or on ice cream as dessert.

Danetta Yandell says …

I would eat them as is, and freeze them for later when I will really want some and not have a fresh option. I would put them in smoothies and salads and cook with them. I will share them with my fmaily who also love cherries.

Alison says …

I would make jam, pies, freeze some for smoothies, and eat tons of them with my son :)

elaine says …

Share some, eat some, freeze some. I would share with a friend who suffers from arthritis & bouts of gout(hopefully cherries will have a positive effect). I would also be sure to use some to make the " Raw Cherry Crisp with Chia & Dates" recipe for an upcoming pot luck.

Raechel Winder says …

Mmmm... Cherries I ate cherries in 1 form or another all through my pregnancy, and now my little one has started loving them too. I would make up some Cherry puree to mix with his apples and yogurt. I would also look to preserve some to add to a balsamic and red wine sauce which I use over venison or other game meat. I am a huge fan of cherry pie and now need to eat Gluten Free so I would experiment with pastry recipes to make the ultimate pie for my new diet restrictions... Who knows, one day I could have a gluten free bakery all thanks to Whole Foods

June Brewer says …

I am the director of an aging program (seniors 60 years of age and older). I would share the cherries with all the seniors while I talk to them about eating healthy. We are on a big push for healthy eating with our seniors. I would keep enough to eat for myself and my husband; about one pound

Jan Leon says …

I used to pick cherries in Michigan, both sweet and tart. I would make cherry preserves, dehydrate some to mix with granola, eat some and freeze some to use after cherry season.

John says …

Since I really like cherry cobblers, that will be the first ting I make. Then there are the cherry pies. I have two favorites... hot and cold. Then their is cherry preserves, and they can't be beat when spread on fresh homemade bread. I just recently acquired a pressure cooker so we can do some canning. My son is thrilled with the idea of canning jams and preserves. 10 pound of cherries would be a great start for this new project.

Daria says …

I would just eat them as I love them as is. I'd freeze some too!

Tonya says …

I would eat some, freeze some. make pies, and might try my hand at some jelly. :)

Katie W says …

I would make a sweet cherry pie for staters! Then I would make cherry chocolate brownies and a cherry reduction for pork chops. Most importantly, I'd give half the case to my mom who grew up on a cherry farm and misses having fresh cherries every summer!

Raymond Patterson says …

I would love to share them with friends at the various dinners and cookouts, but also pitting and freezing some to use later for my morning steel cut oatmeal breakfast!!! Delicious, oh yes!!!

Renee W says …

eat them, share them, cherry pie, preserve, freeze, milkshake, cupcakes, cakes, and try a whole bunch of new recipes :)

Carolyn Fargo says …

I would eat and eat cherries like a little piggy, share some with others, and bake goodies to share with everyone!

Becca says …

Thanks for having this contest! I'd keep a small amount for my family and donate the cherries to The Soup Kitchen in Boynton Beach, FL. They feed the hungry, and serve a lot more than soup!

Corey says …

For sure there would be much jams and ice cream. I would dry and cure some maybe even pickle. Some would be smoked for bbq sauce and some grilled for charred lemonade. You should be able to grow at least one cherry tree with all those seeds right? Maybe plant all the seeds randomly around town so one day there will be fresh cherries for all. And there will be much rejoicing.

Pat Still says …

I would freeze them to have them in the winter. I eat them for breakfast. They are good for gout and arthritis

Jill Alderfer says …

I would share the cherries with my neighbors. It is so important for others to be made aware of the benefits of eating well. Cherries are a low glycemic blood purifier and so full of nutrients and antioxidants. How can it get any better than thIs? I always look forward to the day that Whole Foods get their first crop of cherries!

Kelly says …

I would remember the sweetness of falling in love with my fiance summers ago. A farmer's nephew, he would give me endless samples at the farmers' market. I just kept going back for more!

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