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

CRAIG says …

I would share my cherries with the less fortunate!

VMM says …

OMG a case! First I would eat myself bright red by purely enjoying the cherries. Then I would make cold cherry soup. I would also make Cherry crisp rather than Apple Crisp. I would make cherry baked oatmeal. Unfortunately not sure if I would have any left to make other things between eating the pure and simply as they are and making cherry crisp...yummmmm

Deebee says …

After donating half to the local food pantry, I would sit in the yard and eat 'em one by one, trying to set new records with my pit-spitting and fondly recall my trip last summer to Traverse City, Michigan the cherry center of the Midwest.

MJ says …

Eat them! And share them with lots and lots of people!

Meghan says …

A case of wonderful, delicious cherries!! Oh boy oh boy! I'm getting cherry cravings already, and I literally just ate some cherries with my breakfast! I LOVE CHERRIES! They are absolutely my favorite summer fruit! And if I was given TEN POUNDS of 'em, I would eat them with every meal! I'd make cherry jelly for my toast! Blend cherries with some ice cream, for a cool summer smoothie treat! I would mash some to create a decadent cherry drizzle to pour over homemade chocolate cake! I could dream up a million ways to eat my cherries with delight, but I can only do these things if you pick me to win this, right!?

Andie says …

Cherry-O Yum Goodness! I would make Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream, Cherry jam, Cherry muffins, Cherry Chutney and of course eat a bowl full! Because that is what life is about! Yum, Cherries!

Amanda says …

I would split them up between my roommate, my brother, and I. We would have a competition to see who could all their cherries up! I have always loved cherries and it is actually one of my favorite fruits. I introduced my brother and my roommate to the joys of the wonderful fruit cherries.

Andrea says …

Eat some, juice some, preserve some

Deanna says …

Eat some myself and share with my coworkers.

Julia says …

Eat a whole bunch, then pies, then gifting to family friends. :)

Laura says …

Share them with all the people I love.

Allison says …

A whole case! Wow! I would dry some, eat a lot, and make cherry jam. That would be a super cool win. Thanks for the contest.

gabe says …

Eat them until our teeth are stained red, then if there are any left, preserve them whole, and make some of the fabulous cherry butter I made last summer.

Amy says …

I would wash the cherries, pit them and put them in the freezer. Once frozen they can be added to any beverage (along with other summer fruit) to make a refreshing summer beverage.

Denise Gretz says …

I would first share a good part of them with my friends and co-workers and tell them how I got them. I would then take the rest and make a pie, and most likely eat the rest raw...mmmmm.

beth says …

After filling my belly, I’ll be trying out the Whole Foods Cherry Skillet Jam recipe. I’ll keep a few jars for myself but give the remaining jars away during the holidays to friends, family, and co-workers.

beth says …

After filling my belly, I'll be traing out the Whole Foods Cherry Skillet Jam recipe. I'll keep a few jars for myslef but give the remaining jars away during the holidays to friends, family, and co-workers.

Jennifer Watts says …

I would eat them and share them with my dog. She loves cherries. I bite them in half and give her the side without the pit and I remove the pit and eat that side myself. It is our bonding moment. She gets so excited when she sees me getting cherries out of the fridge.

Tonya P says …

I would not bake them or cook them or add them to anything. I would invite friends over to sit on the back porch and indulge in the savory goodness of each cherry.

kathy yato says …

I love all kinds of fruits and summer fruits are fantastic. I love people and children. It would be great to share to some need family or families that need food. So I would love to go to unsong hero, shelter, senior center, nonprofit and share the fruit and teach them about fruits and nutrition. I make great cherry tuna salad share the food with need. I could wash them and pit and make into great tart or freeze to share to children in fall for treat. I would make

Charlotte says …

I would share them with the children at a mission where I volunteer. We could probably have a lot of fun having a cherry pit spitting contest.

Linda B says …

I would get healthy!I have an auto-immune disease which inflames my muscles. Since cherries are excellent at reducing inflammation, I would certainly be doing my muscles a huge favor. And the cherries would definitely help my husband's arthritis symptons too. Life really is just a bowl of cherries - or, in this instance, a case of cherries! 1 case of cherries = 2 healthier people

Susan says …

If we were to win the cherries,I would make an array of recipes with them,muffins,ice cream,chocolate covered cherries...MMmmm....I can taste them now...thanks for this opportunity....

Kelly says …

Recently bought a vertical juicer so would love to try my hand at making up a lovely batch of cherry juice. Having some to eat fresh sounds great, too. I might be tempted to freeze a bunch of 'em for later use - but would likely share with friends. In the good ol' days, we'd sit around tying the stems into knots with our tongues. Watching people contort to make the knots was a hoot! Lots of laughs and great memories. Mmm, cherries. Good stuff.

Kelly says …

I would bake a bunch of fresh cherry pies, and bring them to the teachers and students at my school. What a great way to celebrate summer's bounty.

Kathleen says …

Cherry Pie!

kim says …

Share and eat, eat, eat :)

Bobbie says …

I love cherries so much, I have a tattoo of cherries on my hip!! I would plan some entertaining - make cherry tarts and cherry granitas and share the wealth this summer with friends and family!

HOLLY says …

I love cherries & love putting food by with a gourmet touch! I would make cherry liqueur, cherry preserves and freeze the rest. Cherries are delicious frozen when you put in a cold drink, especially wine!!!

Denise says …

We love cherries! We'll eat them plain, make cherry jam to share with family and friends, freeze some cherries for winter...Oh, and don't forget homemade chocolate cherry ice cream! Cherry pie, dehydrate some for later to use in cherry tea bread and trail mix, donate some of the jam to the local food pantry (there's plenty to share). I love to see the little ones' eyes light up when they eat them. Thanks for considering us. :)

Danielle says …

I would use them to make small pie pops and to try my hand at making homemade ice cream.

vw says …

Eat all I can, bake, freeze, can, distill with rice wine for a winter joint remedy and of course share with friends.

Adrin says …

I would use them to make some cherry pies and then the rest for some fresh preserves.

Kathy Katsarelis says …

I would make cherry pies, and ice cream. I would take the pies and ice cream to the Veterans Administration home for recovering wounded veterans in Menlo Park, CA.

Sylvia Fitzpatrick says …

Winning a case of cherries is the perfect starter for a block party-indoors or outdoors. I would pair the cherries with some of your wonderful selection of cheeses,mutigrain crackers and of course what's a summer party without a chilled glass of Proseco-Salute!

shanna says …

eat them & freeze them =) yum

Paula says …

Share with friends and family. And, make preserves.

Rita says …

Cherries are a God send from above. I would give some to my friend who is great need and has a heart as sweet as a cherry. He protects Arlington, Dallas, and Addison from the means of criminals. He is so deserving of gifts, he also rescued to-date six animals from the street. He is short of money due to the fact he gives his money away and then has needs to take care of the animals. Then I would make my sweetest husband, a cherry pie. I would then bag them up and pass some out to hard working brothers who are laboring in the sun to build a church meeting place for learning about the word of God. www.lsm.org Finally, I would share with my family who would enjoy the treat of something free from the great store of Whole Foods. A customer since the 1990's.

Sharon Jones says …

We would make fresh cherry-vanilla almond milk "ice cream" and eat any leftovers, just pop in our mouths :)

Eileen says …

I would have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! lol

Sue R says …

I wouls love to have them to snack on but would also make several cherry pies. If I had enough I would throw the extra pies in the freezer.

James says …

Share them with friends and family....and let them know where they came from.

james young says …

thanks

Kay says …

So many things to make with fresh cherries. I would make my own "Cherry Fest" here at the Farmer's Market in Cherokee Village, AR where I sell fresh baked goods and incorporate these cherries in baked goods, such as, pies and in a fresh Cherry vegan ice-cream or sorbet. Give give some away to customers who love the fruit! Amen.

Kathy says …

Share the cherries with friends and family and bring them to work for my co workers to get us through the hot summer....love those cherries so the are just great to pop in your mouth....eat them natural!!!!

Debbie Layton says …

Simple! I would take them to the office and put a little bowl of cherries on every desk.

Mike says …

Are you kidding me? Cherries are a superfruit! I would have to share them with my work group who is about to embark on a two week Green Smoothie, Vegan, Raw, OMG clean out the system eating extravaganza. The cherries would be blended, dried and eaten raw. With the addition of cherries, we might even lure some carnivores into our lair. Please gimme, gimme, gimme a box of cherries to share and change the (my) world!

Fran says …

I work in a program with poor kids- I'd give them to the kids

Jenn Rinas says …

Of course I would have to eat some while remembering the taste from home. In Michigan where they always had the Cherry Fest in Traverse City. So winning a case of cherries would be wonderful. After eating some for a treat I would invite my 2 Grandson's over and as always let the 4 yr old one help me bake up a fresh cherry cobbler. My other one is almost 2 yrs and not interested in the baking part but loves the eating part. Then of course when it was done they could sit down with Grandma and Papa (grandpa) and enjoy their creation. Everything taste better when you can enjoy it with family.

Shelly wilfong says …

Eat some and can some! Oh, and pie.

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