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

Seneca says …

I would LOVE to win! I would let my 14 and 13 year old daughters and 7 year old niece look up lots of fun new recipes to try. They love to experiment!

Nicole B. says …

During the summer, my co-workers and I take turns bringing in fresh cherries to share for our "dessert" after lunch. We have sampled from many grocery stores, and recently voted Whole Foods as having THE BEST cherries. So, I would have to share with my co-workers if I won, and freeze some, so that I could enjoy through fall (if they made it that long :) )

margaret says …

arugula salad with fresh cherries, balsamic glazed onions, and goat cheese!

Michele Chroman says …

The thought of the Red Washington cherries is making my mouth water. I would probably freeze half of the cherries to enjoy in baked goods. The rest, I would share with family and friends.

Madonna says …

Many of them would be eaten by my children. The rest we would make into cherry pies and ice cream! YUMMY!!!

Joanne says …

I would eat some, bake a pie. have my three kids and hubby eat some. I would share some with my mom and dad too!! Yummy cherries!

Faith says …

Eat them as a dessert!

Katherine says …

I would try to save some to make cherry pie filling and attempt to can it - but I would most likely take them to the park with some sandwiches and share them with a friend or two.

Barbara says …

I would start by making Hand Pies, then some cobbler, some preserves, and of course eating them just by themselves. My great-grandmother use to have a cherry tree in her yard and they were so good. A good sweet cherry reminds me of sitting on her front porch, munching on cherries.

Shea says …

I'd record a poison cover band music video and become famous.

Jill says …

I would host a cherry pie eating party and have fun with friends rolling dough, de-stemming cherries, and enjoying pie!

beth says …

I would spend the morning on the deck pitting the cherries. Then in the afternoon I would invite family and friends over cherries and ice cream.

Adrienne says …

I would make this recipe: http://localkitchenblog.com/2012/06/26/smoky-chipotle-cherries/ from local kitchen! Maybe a few different batches. And I'd probably have enough left over for some cherry vanilla ice cream. Droollll....

Nicole Ouellette-Medeiros says …

The neighborhood all knows me for my pies (apple & pumpkin) and homemade ice cream that I make around the holidays (Thanksgiving & Xmas). This year I could change it up and make homemade cherry pies and vanilla ice cream and give them away for Fourth of July! Mmmmm!

Bev says …

My special cherry bowl would be filled each day for eating them just as they are. Next, some would be cut and mixed with Greek yogurt for breakfast. Then, after a dinner from the grill, I'd cut and heat some with a splash of good balsamic vinegar, and put them over vanilla ice cream! Yum! A Washington State Cherry Celebration!

Mary Stone says …

I would put them in a big bowl and set them on the kitchen table. As each of our five college age kids comes in from their summer job I would sit and eAt cherries and have a chat...languish in the summertime, knowingbthesectimes are waning.

SusanL says …

I would dry some cherries for granola, make some brandied cherries for an ice cream topping or shortcakce and then eat the rest!

Audrey says …

I would make cherry pie, cherry smoothies, cherry cobbler, cherry salads...yum!

Bryn says …

Hang with friends in the park with a bucket of cherries and local microbrew beer.

Katie says …

I would make fresh cherry juice. My friend is using it to treat her gout. And I'd make vegan cherry pies, cherry muffins, cherry kanten, cherry vegan ice cream, chocolate cake with cherries on top and eat raw, fresh cherries to cleanse our systems! I'd have a party, invite our friends, and make all desserts cherry and vegan. YUM.

Kellee says …

I would definitely make fresh ice cream! With almond milk and cherries! It's the best! Then I would share with all of the mams to be that I know. The rest? I would stuff myself silly with the raw cherries! Yummo!

Jacques says …

I would eat them just the way they are in all their natural goodness! Yum!

Erica says …

I would make chocolate cherry compote and stuff it inside of french toast. Then I would share it with good friends and good conversation over brunch!

Stephanie Hayes says …

First of all I would probably eat 5lbs just plain because I'm a cherry-aholic. After that I'd try and get creative. Make a jam/jelly. Try them out in new or old recipes that is if my kids don't devour the other 5lbs before I get a chance to do anything with them :)

Mary says …

Can them mostly (jam). Make some pies, share them with neighbors and eat them in the backyard!

Jonny Courage says …

First, I'd seduce this girl I've been chasing for two weeks with a fresh cherry cobbler. Then I'd invite all my friends over for a cherry-themed dinner. Pork chops with a cherry reduction, sweet cherry pie, and perhaps a cherry sangria.

Kat says …

I have my Dad's side family reunion coming up and I make a great cherry cobbler. . so I'm going to make a huge cherry cobbler. . big enough for all 70-100 family members that come to the family reunion each year. They'll love it, so I should win. . really I should. I'll send back pictures. ;)

Nadine J says …

I would share with my grandchildren who never have anything special.

Jim Nugent says …

I would share them with my fellow actors, director and playwright, performing in The Fresh Fruit Festival (yes, seriously) in New York City, in July, 2012. If there are any left after that, and I will certainly make sure there are, the rest go to the "little ones" in my building. Kids and cherry-smeared mouths -- a summer spectacle in itself. Thanks for the chance to win -- and the cherry tips, a winner in their own right.

Cynthia Stevenson says …

First I would eat some and of course spit the pits followed by pitting and preparing as many as I could for dried cherries later. Followed by pitting more cherries for a pie, a salad, cherry salsa (cherries, red onion, cilantro, orange peel and a dash of juice) and when I was out of time...into the fridge until I could do some jam/preserves/conserve/marmalade--I don't waste the pulp and skin at all (given there was any left!). Peace,

Kari says …

After our family of 6 devours the first couple pounds, I would probably pit and freeze the rest. We love cherries! How wonderful it would be to have beautiful frozen cherries to enjoy throughout the summer...scones, ice cream, plain, pie, cobbler, savory dishes...

roxie says …

Juice them, bake them, make some new recipies, the possibilities! I would use them to teach my 6 year old nephew how to properly preserve, prepare, candy and bake them!

Linda says …

Simply preserve them with a bit of sugar and lemon. This would be great over yogurt for breakfast, or as a topping for ice cream, cake, and many other desserts.

Liza says …

Eat them straight. Try to remember to share...have a great recipe for sake infused cherries somewhere...

John says …

I would eat them all up!

Mary Stone says …

I would put them in a big bowl and set them on the kitchen table. As each of our five college age kids comes in from their summer job I would sit and eAt cherries and have a chat...languish in the summertime, knowing these times are waning.

mark says …

I would give them to my mother. She suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis and I buy her cherries because there high in nutrients and help relieve her inflammation.

Madena says …

I would feed them to all the wild orphaned baby animals we have been raising for release including but not limited to: 6 adorable coyotes, 23 Impish Ravens, 40+ curious Crows (we've nearly lost count) 6 sassy striped skunks and one itty bitty 2.3 gram Little Brown Bat...oh wait he isn't a fruit bat...but we could cultivate some yummy fruit flies for him!! :) by the way...he weighs less than a penny!!

Patti Bailey says …

I would marinate them in sugar and rum until they were so delicious no one could resist them..oh yeah and also like everyone else I would make pie!

ellie leshansky says …

i would share some, eat some and save ( freeze some)

Brandi says …

Eating cherries reminds me of going cherry picking each summer when I was a child. It is one of my fondest memories with my grandparents. We would eat so many on the way home and have them finished off within just a couple days. They're prefect just to eat off the stem. I would do that and share them with my fellow co-workers who also love them!

Jan Seewald says …

I would make cherry pies for my grandchildren. I would make cherry smoothies to take to work. I would make cherry jam for the winter. I would make a cherry cobbler for my co-workers. I would just devour and gobble up all of the remaining cherries and sit under my tree by my patio and thank the universe for cherries!!!!

Virginia Ellen Perkins says …

I would share with all my family and friends that they could all enjoy this wonderful fruit.

Jana says …

I'd just sit in the shade and eat them slowly, one by one, and let the pits fall where they may!

Michelle says …

We would eat most of them right out of the box and if there are any left we would make cherry pies, cherry scones, cherry smoothies! Yum!

Christi says …

I would have a whole bunch of friends over with their dogs and kids and have a cherry fest- which would include brewing a cherry wheat beer, eating cherry cobbler, having a cherry pit spitting contest and watching my dog Sophie eat cherries because it's entertaining to see her spit out the pit.

Jen says …

Simple. I would eat them all.

Maritza says …

I would enjoy them by making a delicious pie, ice cream, and add some in a sangria. Cherries not only taste delicious, but also it's color and flavor make it fun to make all the above and more. Cherries are my favorite fruit, I hope to be the winner to have some friends over for a cherri night,

Victoria Evulukwu says …

I make cherry salsa which goes well with brisket or bison. Slice several cherries, mint leaves, red n=onions and jalapenos real tiny then mix with sea salt and vinegar. Serve with a delicous meat dish!

Angelique Chambliss says …

I simply love cherries. They have a sweet taste. Easy to pop in your mouth and spit out the seeds. I would share with my family because they like them as much as I do.

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