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

Blanca says …

I would have a cherry pit spitting contest with all the kids @ our 4th of July picnic.

Lily Sieu says …

Mom and I would eat them fresh, while we put up some in the freezer for our daily veggie & fruit smoothie (any combination of organic and natural kale, bitter melon leaves, watermelon, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, virgin coconut oil, arugula, Indigo Rose tomatoes, bananas, leaf lettuce, blanched grape leaves, etc). We try to grow as much of our own produce as we can, and look to Whole Foods for support year 'round.

pat says …

Eat and share, eat and share, eat and share till they're all gone...yum

Melissa Parker says …

I'd eat them all, one-by-one! And maybe share a few with my husband and our Yorkie, Stewie! We are all in LOVE with fresh cherries!! :)

Shea says …

I would work really hard not to eat them all in one go, but let's face it; cherries never last more than a half hour in my presence... An then a few hours later hilarity will ensue by the.. Erm... "productive" effects of cherry consumption in large quantities. Not sure hat that means? Talk to someone in produce or whole body... Or, find out for yourself :-P

Anne-Marie says …

I would experiment with a few recipes, then, I would share---pies, dumplings and fresh cherries in a bowl!

Leslie says …

I would can and preserve them for cherry jam all year round!

Denise says …

Since this is one of only very few fruits that my son will eat about 1/2 would go into his mouth and I have a fresh cherry tart recipe tht I have been dying to try out!!

Jo-Ann says …

I would love to Win the cherrys!!! My daughter has six children, and they love fruit especially cherrys and you can imagine how expensive it would be to purchase them so they do not get to eat them very often. So please, I would love to win this for them!!!

Lauren K. says …

I am in my 20s and have recently taken up canning and preserving because I have such fond memories of my great-grandmother serving up delicious canned fruits and vegetables when I was a little kid. I can think of no better way to honor her and carry on the family tradition than canning, preserving and delishifying an entire case of cherries! I'm sure the entire extended family would enjoy the results and the reminiscing.

Kate C says …

I would make pies for family & friends, smoothies, muffins and eat them fresh....alone, in salads, in yogurt, on ice-cream and in my cereal. Yum!

R. Hughes says …

We had cherry trees in our backyard as children. I would eat a lot of cherries and give the rest to my sister and her 3 children and some to a few friends.

Olivia says …

The cherries would be eaten fresh as well as used in recipes such as cherry pie, compote, mixed with other fruits for a delicious fruit salad and if there are any left over, they would be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.

Mary says …

I would share the cherries with family and friends. I would also bring a cheery pie to work.

Laura says …

Share. Eat.

Kim says …

I'd go off like Bubba - cherry pie, cherry cake, cherry cobbler...

Welleen says …

I would eat them with my family off the stem and also bake some in a cherry cobbler!

Kay Silverman says …

I would sit in the couch with my husband and a huge bowl of cherries and be in heaven!! We both LOVE cherries!

Lin says …

WOW! I would definitely have CHERRY-PALOOZA in my kitchen! Pies, rustic tarts, crumbles, and preserves, for all! Oh my! YUM!

Tina says …

We would eat them fresh! My family absolutely loves cherries!! We can't ever buy enough cherries, as soon as I bring them home from the store, they are gone.

Jack says …

I would bring them to the finish line of the Triple Bypass (120 mile bike ride over three mountain passes -- Tennessee, Loveland, and Vail) and give them to the cyclists (including my sweetheart)

Mary says …

I would share the cherries with family and friends. I would also bring a cheery pie to work.

LV says …

I would eat a bunch fresh, then I would freeze some for cold drinks and smoothies and for winter, and then I would keep some in the fridge to add to salads, yogurt and dessert!

LV says …

I would eat a bunch fresh, then I would freeze some for cold drinks and smoothies and for winter, and then I would keep some in the fridge to add to salads, yogurt and dessert!

CJ says …

Eat em Up

Serene says …

Seriously? A case of cherries (brings to mind "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell) - since Im not a good baker, and Im not much into the sweets anyway, I have some different ideas in mind. I have a recipe for an amazing mini chicken cherry pie in puff pastry with cream cheese. I would make many of those for my family around town, and the rest for the freezer. I would try my hand at this great spicy cherry jam with jalapeños. I would also like to make some cherry salsa, and of course a big bowl to share on the fourth of July. Matched with some blueberries and a big bowl of whipped cream for the flag effect. Some mini angel food cakes would be waiting as vessels. I personally love cherries in my smoothies, so cherry banana yogurt smoothies would be on the menu. Then I would scour the web for recipes galore to make sure each and every tender juicy morsel is taken advantage of!

Jeannette says …

I would share them :-)

shirley says …

Most delicious cherries. Can be used in your smoothie. Will definitely share. Love them.

sameul S says …

Can you say pie, smoothies, fruit pops, and do not forget ice cream sundaes w/cherries!!!!

Susan says …

Probably just eat them & share them! Yum!!

Paul says …

Sounds like the whole neighborhood will be enjoying my famous cherry crisp!

Madonna says …

I would help my children make cherry pies to share. We would also make fresh cherry ice cream - Yum!!!

Jill says …

I would host a cherry pie making party and have fun with friends as we rolled dough, de-stemmed cherries, and ate pie!!

Jessica says …

I'm actually a new lover of cherries. I know, right?! lol As a newly diagnosed celiac (FINALLY AN ANSWER!) I would LOVE to try my hand at a gluten-free cherry pie. Mmmmmmm My Dad is teaching me the wonders of canning and a cherry compote and jam would be lovely. Then of course there's the simple pleasure of snacking on them while watching your favorite movie as a late night dessert. What can't you do with cherries?! :)

Tracy Pickens says …

I would eat them. Simply put.

Jennifer says …

Fresh cherry limeades and dark chocolate covered cherries. And of course fresh cherries.

Nadine says …

I would share them with my grandchildren who don't have what everyone else has. They would be most appreciative.

Christina Z says …

cherries !!! i would a) EAT at least 50% of them the day i got the box. for sure. at least 50%. i would cherry-log myself til i pass out ... i would ALSO totally make some preserves. nothing is better than some preserves with cashew butter sammich. om nom nom. oh ! and a pie. then, i would take whatever is left and bottle 'em in some liqueur with sugar for a few weeks. stick 'em out in the sun to get all magical then go to town with a toothpick when ready =)

Melanie says …

After eating our fill, the rest would be frozen with a syrup sauce my mom & I used to make Then we could use them for baking all winter long. I can just imagine having beautiful red cherries to have at Christmas in a cherry pie. It makes my mouth water thinking about it.

Windi says …

Soak them in bourbon to mix for a refreshing summer cocktail or reduce to a yummy icecream topping!

Sarah G says …

Eat what we could raw and freeze or can the rest.

pd says …

If they're organic... we'll use them in cobbler and pie...in salads and chutneys...and mostly just in their natural yummy state! (cherries are on the WORST-for-pesticides list)

Amy says …

I would can them and then eat them over ice cream all winter long!

louise says …

First my daughter and husband would jump for joy! Second we would.eat a few. Third I would.put my baking skills to.work and bake cherry pie, crumble, muffins, pancakes, turnovers.... And host a family and friends party to celebrate.

Lori welsh says …

I would make a cherry Paleo pie and sugar free cherrie preserves! Local honey would be my sweetener of choice!

jin says …

make pie :)

Rae says …

I would dry some, brandy some, and give goodie bags with the others and give them to neighbors and the neighborhood kids.

Chris C. says …

Eat some, dry some, cherry shortcake, cherry glaze for grilled chicken, add some to Greek yoghurt, cherry jam, cherry fritters, eat some more!

Julie Adams says …

I would make five spice pickled cherries and grilled cherry and brie pizzas!

J. Gillette says …

I would eat them, bake them in whatever I can think of like pies, cakes, breads, etc., and freeze the rest for future use and consumption. Whatever I baked, I would share with friends and family. Yum!!

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