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

Jonnie (JB) says …

I would make cherry pies for my family and neighbours

Tzipora Nurieli says …

I will share some , pit some and freeze it for later use and then dig in my baking and in my morning greens drink.....then for sure finish the rest with the help of my family. We LOVE cherries'!!!!!!!

Rita Venturino says …

I would first set up my canning jars to make a batch of cherry preserves. The remainder would be used for pies, toppings and salads. It would be a wonderful treat.

Tata says …

I will feed my whole family and they will love it

Elizabeth says …

Would share with family and friends after eating as much as I could with my 3 year old grandson who loves cherries and would be thrilled seeing 10 lbs of cherries!

KS says …

We would eat and enjoy the cherries with family and friends. We would make pies and cobblers and enjoy these too. We would have a Cherry Diet for 2 weeks whole....and that from Whole Foods too !!! What a cherrylicious gift.

Erin says …

I would eat every last one of those cherries. I am six months pregnant with my first child, and I am craving cherries. All kinds, all the time. Cherry jello, cherry ice cream and yogurt, black cherry soda, maraschino cherries, and especially fresh, crisp whole cherries. Cherries were always a food I liked, but this is just getting crazy. This craving started in April, before cherries were available here in Philadelphia, and let me tell you, that was not a fun time. Now that cherry season is here, I think I eat about a half pound of cherries per day. PER DAY! It is expensive. I am starting to understand why Rapunzel's mother sold her to a witch to fulfill her lettuce cravings. My friends tell me that craving healthy foods means the baby is a girl- we'll see. In the meantime, all I know is, this baby wants cherries. So please, give the cherries to the pregnant woman and back away slowly, and nobody gets hurt.

Barbara says …

My 97 year old mother and I would immediately start eating as many cherries as possible. We would share this magnificent bounty with her aides.

Kathy says …

Share them with friends and family - who doesn't like cherries?

Ellen H. says …

I'd take the stash of cherries with me to the beach and eat them all day long under the sunshine! What fun!

Lee Anne says …

I would eat a bunch, share a bunch, freeze a bunch, and repeat. yum yum....

jennifer says …

cherries can stand alone! or made into a salsa with a few other fruits (peaches, berries, tomato) maybe some onion & cilantro & some peppers. or in greek yogurt or tossed in a salad yum!!

Gus says …

I would share with Friends and we could All eat our fill.

Ruth says …

What wouldn't I do with a case of cherries?! The first thing that comes to mind is sugar free preserves but I'm sure I'll think ofna thousand other ways to use them, yum!

Carol says …

Dehydrated cherries are easy to make in a low oven, they are delicious and when added to chocolate chip cookies. Pitted cherries in clafouti for a company breakfast or even dessert at my next dinner party would be delicious. Cherry Sangria with some red wine and brandy with cherries frozen into ice cubes would be spectacular. The local soup kitchen would be more than happy to accept the cherries also.

Kathleen Betlejewski says …

I work in a wonderful nursing home and my residents LOVE cherries! I would host a " Whole Foods Cherries Jubilee." We would have a " Cherry-pit Spitting Contest" and "Guess How Many Cherries Are In The Jar" and invite the media so EVERYONE would know how AWESOME your company is! Celebrate SUMMER!

Mona says …

I would eat some, freeze some for making smoothies, make a huge fruit salad for my annual summer party, and share them!!! I love cherries!!!

PatsyAnn Freeman says …

Just to eat them is a treat!!!! On a serious note, my husband suffers from gout. Quess what the best natural cure is, that is right, cherries. Eating cherries, drinking cherry juice, eating cherry pie, cobbler, chutney is the best medicine for gout. Cherries make the swelling and inflamation go away and of course of the pain goes away. If he loads up on cherries he can then eat a little of a forbidden food he really likes. As for me I am diabetic so I am experimenting with natural sugars in preparing a prize winning cherry pie and cobbler. I won prizes for "normal" pie and cobbler so look out as I will keep experimenting til I find the best cherry pie yet. One that everyone can eat.

Leslie says …

Though I love cherries I have never eaten one fresh, nor cooked with them. For the past 5 years I have been teaching myself to cook from scratch (removing preservatives, etc. from my diet) and to try new things. If I were to win, I would use the cherries to learn everything I can about cooking, prepping, EATING THEM... and not just from some sauce or some filling someone else made.

Becky Gautreaux says …

Honestly, I would eat most of them. I would try and share. I would make wine with some and freeze the remaining so my : ) could last for a few months. O, and I would email you "THANK YOU!"

Lynn Garvais says …

I would make jam, I would use them for a cherry vanilla cake and cherry pie.

Romina says …

It would be eaten with the whole family as desert.

Karen S says …

Freeze some, save some for snacking, pit some & combine with citrus fruit to add to homemade sangria!

shannon says …

I would stuff myself with the fresh cherries! If there are any left over after my family devours them, then I might make a cherry pie for the first time.

Stacey Boyd says …

I would definitely not be selfish with 10lbs of Cherries!! I remember as a kid my father turning me onto cherries, so I would be sharing this yummmy summer fruit with him. I've seen soooo many cherry recipes I want to try as well, such as soups, sauces, and as a filling in burgers. And of course some would be frozen for smoothies, and the rest....would be eaten while enjoying this wonderful summer weather!

Mary E Grier says …

Since the city I live in is now under threat of a major wildfire and 32,000 people have already had to be evacuated from their homes, I feel that even though I really love eating fresh cherries, I would have to give your wonderful cherries to Care and Share to be distributed to those people who have had to leave their homes not knowing if they will have a home to go back to in the future. At this time I am blessed to live on the side of town away from the fire but this could change at any time. A treat such as fresh cherries would mean so much to the people that have had to leave their homes with only what they could put in their cars. I know this is not the reply that you expected but this fire and what it is doing to our city and our people is what is uppermost is everyone's mind. But it does seem to be bringing the best out in most of our community. Thanks for growing such great cherries. I look forward to seeing them in our stores if we are still here.

Agnes Lindner says …

I would give some to my husband to put in the oatmeal he makes for us every morning, with cherries being one of our favorite ingredients. I would take them for lunch and snack on them at night as I add them to a bowl of ice cream. I would put out in a bowl on the 4th of July and hand out small baggies of them as favors to all my guests.

Carrie Healy says …

I would pit and, together with my elementary age sons, eat a couple of the pounds, as we bake cherry muffins together in the kitchen. The last 5-6 pounds would make lovely sweet cherry wine, perfect for family gatherings this winter.

kathy/NorthCarolina says …

Oh...cherry preserves for sure...but just eating them as they are is a treat! And, I'd share with my neighbors!

Tenille says …

I would snack on them, bake, freeze, & share w/friends & family.

Cindy Hill says …

Is this heaven? Cherries are my favorite fruit, and the season is way too short for me. If I had a whole case I would definitely eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for about a day, then if there are any left, I would dry most of them, and freeze the rest. I've never had any cherries left though, so I can't promise the freezing part, and I have higher hopes for the dried cherries.

Amber Kane says …

I would donate them to my local food bank

Melanie Giglietti says …

I would bake a cherry pie, make a fruit smoothie, toss them into a fruit salad, make cherry filled danish, cherry jam, Cherry Garcia ice cream, cherry cheesecake, and eat them as a delicious snack wherever I go!

Linda Green says …

Chilled, straight from the fridge, picnicking with a dozen family members.

Jeffrey says …

Cherry pie, preserves, fresh on homemade ice cream, mead/beer; I'd use them for all...

LINDA says …

10 pounds of cherries!! I would share, share, share!!!!!

Jessie says …

We might freeze some or add some to vanilla ice cream, but the vast majority of them I would simply eat raw. In large quantities at a time. LOVE cherries :)

shay says …

My seven year old is allergic to many fruits...cherries are one of her favorite that she CAN actually eat. She'd probably eat them with just about anything! :)

jim says …

Cherry galettes, frangipane tarts, brandied cherries, and cherry sorbet

Donna says …

I would eat lots of cherries & share lots of them too. My 8 year old daughter loves to eat cherries, and I love to see her face after she eats them, red juice all over!

Becky Bilyeu says …

I work at Hospice SW in Vancouver and we have a counter in the center of our office where people put FREE stuff all the time..food, treats, etc, I would take the entire case to work and let my entire Hospice staff and volunteers share in the bounty and enjoy delicious cherries all day long...Sweet treats for many dedicated heart giving peeps!

Nola says …

I would enjoy eating them everyday and share with my families and friends. They love cherries just as much as I do. Cherries not only taste great, they are also great for insomnia.

Carol says …

I love shopping at Whole Foods & the friendly and informative staff. My 93 y.o. mother has recently been hospitalized and is now in rehab. I would share them with mom and other folks who are residing at the rehab/nursing home. There would be mini cherry muffins, cherry ice cream or eating them right out of the box. Depending on the residents abilities I would encourage them to share their experiences, recipes, likes or dislikes. We will discuss the history, types of cherries, nutrition as well as some trivia.

bonnie l hunt says …

One of the first things I'll make is cherry preserves, followed by homemade cherry ice cream or cherry granita. I'm sure I can find loads of things to do with my free cherries!!! My mouth is already watering as we speak.....

sara says …

I would eat them all with my family!

Eunice says …

I would eat them out of the box.

dana says …

Washington cherries, are delicious. There are so many recipes with cherries it makes my mouth water and so hard to choose. Desserts, oh my all the desserts, glazes- like cherry glaze for ice cream or cherry horseradish for dipping chicken nuggets in, cherry pineapple green pepper glaze for ham or kabobs just to name a few. A wonderful fruit for any sweet tooth. So what would i do with a case of cherries?? I would take some of it for my self and donate a large part to the local food shelf so many people can enjoy rhem too..

Anne says …

I grew up in OH with cherry trees all over the neighborhood. I would make cherry jam, cherry pies, and I might even consider resusitating the childhood favorite of jello with cherries. Mmmm.

Rebecca Heim says …

With my sincerest apologies to Stevie Wonder :-)...... My cherry amour, lovely as a summer day My cherry amour, distant as Washington State Way My cherry amour, pretty little fruit that I adore You're the only fruit my heart leaps for How I wish that you were mine!! In a kitchen, or just outside on a summer's day I've been dreaming of ways to prepare you since May Oh cherry amour, won't you tell me how could you ignore Back behind this little smile I wore How I wished that you were mine!! My cherry amour... My cherry amour... Maybe someday you'll pick me among the crowd To win the contest and share you at a huge family gathering proud Oh cherry amour, pretty little fruit that I adore You're the only fruit my heart leaps for How I wish that you were mine!!!!

Cheryl says …

I belong to a non-profit for widowed and divorced adults. Every week, the org. provides coffee and pastries, esp. donuts. I would LOVE to bring in small bags of cherries so each person could eat better....even if it is just for one night. Singles often eat the worst, as it is!

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