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

Victoria says …

I would make cherries dipped in chocolate, cherry-watermelon agua fresca, and dry some for snacks later. And most importantly share with my sister who is a cherry-head and can eat 4 lbs of cherries in one sitting!

Megan B says …

I would take them down to Colorado Springs and hand them out at one of the evacuee shelters, in hopes that a little something sweet would slightly brighten up the evacuee's day.

Virginia Ellen Perkins says …

I would share them among my family and friends that all could enjoy this wonderful fruit.

Emily says …

My six-year-old son loves cherries and eats bowls at a time. The rest of us have to get to them first or there won't be any left. If we won a case of cherries we would all get to eat as many as we would like. With the rest, (if there are any) I would make a cherry cobbler, cherry tart, muddle some to make a fun summer drink, and maybe make some jam. YUM!!!

Bill says …

I would turn them into about 6 Gallons of Cherry wine.

Melissa says …

Since I can't toss the pits out the window while driving through the Loire with friends, I would make clafoutis and preserves to share.

Chris says …

I would eat a bunch of them right away, share them with my friends and family, take the pits out of some and use in Sangria and make homemade cherry ice cream with the rest. YUM!!

Nadia Harper says …

Pit them, freeze them and then make cherry ice cream and cherry lemonade over the coming months. YUM!!!

Lori Nicholas says …

I would make my husband a cherry pie or 2 and I would freeze the rest for smoothies and snacking!! Yummy!!!

Neda says …

I will make sure the cherries are put to good use by sharing them with others, baking them, and being creative in my use of them.

Cheryl says …

I'd bring them to my CrossFit gym and share them with everyone after we do a crazy WOD, like Murph, because cherries are good for recovery!!! And they're so tasty!

Pamela Kee says …

I would wish my darling husband a slightly belated "Happy Birthday!" Cherries are his most favorite fruit in world. Being a Seattle boy, this would bring back his childhood memories. Cherries would be a part of the dinner meal...duck breast served with cherry and port sauce...cherries, almonds, and brie salad...followed by a cherry clafouti or a Black Forest cake. After he had his fill of cherries, I would help my daughters preserve summer so that he could have this feeling all year round...along with freezing up a few pies, drying them for cookies, etc.

Hasmig says …

Well I'd start by eating some as cherries are my absolute favorite fruit! Then I'd make cherry clafouti. And finally in honor of my grandmother I would make a cherry liquor. She would serve it in her crystal cordial glasses and add 1 cherry to each glass. Wonderful memories!

stephanie says …

I would eat some of the fresh cherries straight from the case. I am 4 months pregnant and love eating whole, nutritious, foods for my baby and myself. I would also freeze some so I could share them with my 5 year old little girl. She loves cherry yogurt and smoothies.

Pamela says …

I would SHARE THEM!!!! :) I would share the wonderful fresh cherries with all my friends and family who would love the treat. If there were more than we could eat fresh, I'd make cherry jalapeno jam and give it to those same friends and family for Christmas!

Amy Sanders says …

Turn them into sorbets, jams and jellies for holiday presents.

Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig says …

Yum! I would make pies, freeze them, eat them, and enjoy them fully!

Linda says …

I'd get a group of people together and share them. Maybe make a cherry cobbler, add ice cream and relax on a lounge chair on the patio deck. Ahhh... Love summer fruits!

Shelly Rene says …

I would make cherry pie, cherry turnovers, cherry oatmeal, chery ice-cream, cherry scones. You name it, I love cherries! I'd have to freeze some and give some to friends, too. Now I'm craving cherries!!!

Jeannine says …

I'd take a box to my no-kill animal shelter and share cherries with all of the staff and volunteers who make life a bowl of -- well, you know -- for homeless and abandoned animals.

Andrea says …

I would make cherry preserves and share with family and friends, cherry preserves are my favorite. I would have to eat some also, favorite summer time snack

Kim Hessing says …

I would let my 17 month old daughter have her first taste of fresh cherries! She loves fresh fruit and this will be the first time they've been in season since she started feeding herself. If she's anything like me, she'll go nuts for them!

carol cassidy says …

First I would share them with our children,then seal some for the freezer,and keep a few to the side for Cherries Jubilee with my hubby!!!

Jason says …

Share with friends!!

Jennifer says …

Bake 3 cherry pies. One for my family to eat straight away and 2 for delivery to families I cook for that are helping family members through cancer/chemo treatment. Food is love and cherry pie is definitely love.

Liz Hansen says …

About three quarters would go into jam and cherry pies... the rest would "mysteriously disappear" while I was cooking!

Julie R. says …

Cherry Pies and chocolate covered cherries!

Sina Songer says …

I would make them into my grandma's cherrie pie. She is a chef/baker in Germany and makes everything the yummiest!

Mark L says …

Cherry/pricklypear/wolfberry/mesquite flour clafoutis!

Claire Slade says …

My 4-year-old and I would sit and eat them!

Courtney says …

Considering that cherries are my number one pregnancy craving and I can eat my weight in them right now, I would probably eat them all with in a week. Fresh cherries are the best!

Lisa says …

I would pit all of them & soak some in rum and make cherry mojitos, add some to fresh cream & toss in the ice cream maker, and the rest I would put up for the winter via canning,freezing & dehydrated cherries!

Jennifer says …

Bake 3 cherry pies. One for my family to eat straight away and 2 for delivery to families I cook for that are helping family members through cancer/chemo treatment. Food is love and cherry pie is definitely love.

Shawn says …

Probably invite friends over for a cherry feast. Would make pies, jam etc but the reality would be see who could eat the most the fastest and probably have a pit spitting contest. Of course, after saving a pint for the infused alcohol of choice...

Carmen says …

I never had cherries but I would try it.

Jennifer says …

I would eat them until my stomach hurts!

Rose Sperry says …

I will give them to the evening soup kitchen at the Unitarian church in Cambridge

David S. says …

I would make smoothies with banana, cherry, almond milk, and cocoa powder. Yum! Also, cherry and almond scones. And I would freeze some for later.

Marika Ujvari says …

I would divided it among my three children. Marika

Fibia says …

My family and I would eat a lot of them, find the ones that have 2 stems attached and wear them as earrings, and bake yummy pies. We would also share with our friends and neighbors.

Izzy says …

After consuming several handfuls, I would take some of the remaining cherries and cook up a nice compote to serve on ice cream, crepes, or angel food cake. Then I'd figure out how to concoct a amaretto cherry coconut milk ice cream -- or create a vanilla cherry cheesecake.

Jensen says …

I would make the summer fruit hand pies..the whole foods recipe posted in today's email! Filling them with delicious Cheries!

Joyce says …

Cherry lemonade, cherry pork marinade, cherry pit fire starters, you name it...

Bill says …

My husband adores cherries. I think he'd eat the whole case in one sitting.

Laurie Edelman says …

I would keep a large bowl of cherries available for snacking all day, every day for as long as they last, so my family and friends can share the joy of this wonderful summer treat!

Amanda says …

I would make cherry clafoutis--perfect for breakfast or dessert, and so simple to make!

Ana Chiu says …

I just went cherry picking, and it was one of the best fruit picking experiences ever! Usually I just eat cherries by themselves, but with 10 lbs, there is a cherry clafoutis recipe I've been wanting to try...

Mike says …

I'd eat nothing but cherries for a few weeks.

Julie M says …

I would start our days off with ultimate cherry, chocolate smoothies using my Chocolate Biochem Greens mix, I would bring them in the office as a healthy "snack" for the ladies (but may also bring in a few dark chocolate bars for a fun compliment) and then I would puree and freeze them into delicious homemade icepops...I may add some dark chocolate in there too :)Cherries and Dark Chocolate- is there anything better in life?!

Jackie says …

My husband and I would eat some and I'd share the rest with my friends (horse and human) at the barn! (And our puppy would probably insist on having a couple, too. ;) )

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