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

Jen A. says …

1st, my family would snack on them! After that, I would make muffins, quinoa salad, and yogurt parfaits. Thanks for the chance!

Lisa says …

I would share them with my family and make several different baked goods and incorporate cherries in them....yummy!

Hannah says …

I would share them with my entire team! I would put my portion into some delicious batches of my homebrew beer and kombucha!

Maureen says …

I love love cherries. I eat them as my breakfast or as a snack and I have a great recipe for a cherry cake. I have a cherry cheesecake recipe too. But I think the way I would eat them mainly is just straight. Love love them.

Kelly D. says …

I would make a cherry pie, eat them as is and make cherry jam for pancakes.

Jennifer says …

I would eat some of them and share them with my mom...

Sara says …

Cherry mojitos!!!

Mary S. says …

What would I do with 10 lbs. of cherries?! Wow!! I would start by making a balsamic cherry sauce for grilled pork tenderloin, next I would make a lattice-topped cherry cobbler, after that I would make a cherry filling for a white cake, then some cherry topping for ice cream, and finally I would make some basil-scented cherry jam for winter. Of course, I would be sure to save some to eat fresh and put in a salad. Delicious!!

Joanne says …

My 2-year old daughter LOVES cherries. We bake together every week and would have lots of fun making cherry tarts, cherry scones, cherry cobbler, cherry trail bars, and whatever else we can come up with!

Sarah S says …

If I won a case of cherries my family and I would have lots of fun eating them in so many ways! We would eat a lot fresh, make some jam, dehydrate some, make some pies for grandparents, make some raw chocolate cherry balls, making some cherry bread or scones or maybe pancakes, oh the list would go on. I would ask my kids what they wanted to make with them and let them come up with some creative and fun ways to cook and eat healthy!

Laurial says …

Hmm... cherry preserves, maybe a gluten-free cherry cake with coconut cherry frozen yogurt.

Nathan says …

I want to win some cherries. They are my favorite fruit. I like cherry pie and to put fresh cherries in fruit salad.

Amber says …

I would eat as many as I possibly could, then bake the rest into pies for my friends and family!

Susan says …

I would make all kinds of wonderful, healthy things. Would love to win as my husband's grandmother use to own a cherry orchard. It would bring back wonderful memories, especially when she use to send them to his dorm when he was enlisted in the Air Force.

Jason D says …

I love fruit! With a case i would make some really chill smoothies with fresh apriums from Collins Family Orchard mixed in with a few Whole Foods bananas! They make excellent smoothies with a rich, creamy texture and full of nutrition as well! For a late night snack i would blend some up with some organic raspberries as cherries and raspberries are both known to promote a restful night sleep! It is difficult at times to sleep when the beautiful weather starts to show up!

Leah Parks says …

I have a recipe, to make a spicy cherry,curry jam. It's great on hamburgers, chicken or fresh bread. I would also, just munch on them as a snack! And, put them on my yogart for breakfast!

Jean says …

I would eat them straight off the stem and make dried cherries to use in muffins, breads, granolas and yogurt parfaits. I would also give some to family and friends.

Leah says …

Almost forgot, would also use them to make cherry whoopie pies with chocolate cherry frosting in the middle of whoopie pies! Yummmm

Abby says …

Cherry fest at the fishing pier! We'd share with the "old-pros" who have allowed us to join their fishing club. These gents may range in age from 62 - 92, but they're young at heart!

Margaret Musleah says …

I love cherries especially the kind you get at Whole Foods. I would eat some, make some into cherry pie and freeze and share them with family and friends.

Katya says …

I would just have my friends comming to my house and eating the cherries fresh. Pits spitting contest will be a fun thing to do, too

Melissa Derr says …

We LOVE cherries! We would make ice cream (goat cheese with cherries), freeze them and eat them as a snack, eat them fresh, and use them in dinner recipes. Any way you eat them, they're delicious! So many options with this delicious fruit!

jen says …

I would eat a lot of them fresh, roast some for ice cream and dehydrate whatever remains.

Kim says …

For the most part, I would eat them, just by themselves. I would also preserve some of them as pie filling so I could enjoy them once cherry season is over.

renee kraemer says …

I would probably eat half of them straight from the case. I adore fresh cherries. The rest i would eat with yogurt and make a cherry cobbler.

Kim Collins says …

I would share them with neighbors family and friends! Who doesn't love cherries? They brighten any ones day and not only that but they are very nutritious and healthy to eat! Cherries are mostly water therefore you can eat them all day and not gain weight and actually they help people lose weight through their slight detoxification properties. I would also use the opportunity to educate people on why they should be buying organic and also the healing qualities of eating fresh fruits like cherries!!! I am a cancer survivor and I learned that cherries actually help to protect you from cancer, so I make a point of eating them every chance I get!!

Elyse Sheppard says …

We love, love cherries! I make jams, jellies, dry them and freeze them. They are great in the middle of winter as a ray of summer sunshine!

Amanda O. says …

Oh, how my family loves cherries. I would make pies, cobblers, jams. I would dehydrate then, freeze them and eat them fresh. I would send them to work with my husband in his lunch. I would pack them for day trips with my son and family. I would share them with my wonderful neighbors. I would enjoy all of them!

Rose says …

I would bake pies with most of them and share with family/friends and snack on the rest or include in salads. Would also freeze some to make the goodness last as long as possible.

Cindy Li says …

I would.share some with friends in need. The rest my family would consume fresh, in pie, ice cream, salads, yogurt, and other ways. We love cherries but they are a little expensive.

racergirl1313 says …

I'd bake with them, make cherry-almond preserves and of course, share with my cherry loving family.

Teresa says …

I would freeze a few with the stems on, as frozen cherries make a great treat to pop in and munch on during these super hot days. I'd also make cherry cobbler and cherry pie - as well as having fresh cherries to snack on and share. Then, I'd ask my mom to help me make jelly or preserves. Mostly - I would really enjoy all those cherries!

Susan says …

I would fight my two year-old for them! He loves them so much, he would probably win.

robb zimmerman says …

i have been looking forward to this summer's fruit season since we bought a chest freezer last fall. i want to have frozen cherries for muffins and smoothies in the fall and winter. however, i must admit my favorite use for cherries is to eat them raw. i cannot get enough of fresh cherries. as soon as i get them home i wash and stem them, and i keep them in a bowl in the refrigerator. they don't last more than a few days!

Kara says …

I have a favorite spiced cherry jam recipe that I'd love to have that many cherries for! And I'd definitely be nibbling on plenty of them fresh as I was cooking. Mmmmm!

Holly Thomas says …

I LOVE cherries. This would be so awesome to win. I would make cherry butter and cherry pie and just eat them as a healthy snack.

Johanna says …

I would love to just eat them! I would probably donate some to the food bank I volunteer at and share with my family, but for the most part I would love to just snack on them all day!

Tabatha says …

I would make smoothies and eat and freeze these wonderful things! The whole family would enjoy!

Steph says …

Ooh. What a great offer! I would make my famous low sugar preserves to give as gifts throughout the year to my son's teachers and caregivers and for our friends and family. I make tons of jam for this purpose every summer and it's just a nice way to let all these good people know how much they are appreciated and to enjoy the taste of summer all year long. I would also freeze a stash for smoothies.. So delish!

Kelley Martinez says …

I would bake them into scrumptious goodies and send them to my nephews serving in the military in Afghanistan!

Valarie says …

I would be thrilled to win a case of fresh cherries. I recently started eating fresh cherries on a daily basis. Fresh cherries are a wonderful, health snack. Cherries help the pain and inflammation of my osteoarthritis. I would make cherry pies, cherry cheesecake ice cream. I would freeze some of the cherries, and make cherry smoothies. I'd also share my case of cherries with coworkers and friends.

Joanne Gregory says …

We love cherries! If I had a whole case, I would make cherry jam, freeze some to put in baked goods, and eat the rest!

Leslie says …

Smoothies, jam, bread, eat and share!

Sarah says …

Mmmm...I'd certainly eat as much as I could handle fresh...and then bake with the rest!

Marie says …

I LOVE cherries! To be honest, I'd probably eat them until they make me sick, just like I did 20 years ago when I earned my first paycheck from a babysitting job. My mother took me to Gemco & I spent all of my money on cherries, ate them all in one sitting (shared a few) & got sick. They are so addictive, you'd think an adult would know better but I still haven't learned, although I have been scoping out a cherry ice cream recipe online ;-)

Natalie says …

We would eat them in everything, all day, every day until there wasn't one single one left! I could freeze them, boil them, bake them, juice them, puree them or flambe them.... Oh, who am I kidding....they would never make it that far... we would eat them right out of the crate! ;)

Ana says …

I would bake homemade cherry pies and share with friends and family. Of course, save some for snacking.

Ruth Zabor says …

I would eat them chilled. I would make French Toast and top with pitted cherries. I would make a cherry pie. And then I would give cherries to family and to friends, and especially to a friend who has suffered a loss.

Natasha says …

First let me start by saying how much I love cherries but they are costly especially for a large family but furthermore My family and I recently took on the challenge of being healthier which includes eating better and we have been experimenting with new recipes. If I win, I would love to experiment making varies of healthy but delicous foods/deserts for my family :)

Stephanie says …

I would make some tasty treats and share them with family and friends

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