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A Simply Sweet Cherry Fest

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, June 27, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

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.

Category: Contests, Produce




CRAIG says ...
I would share my cherries with the less fortunate!
07/03/2012 7:13:56 AM CDT
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
07/04/2012 8:47:23 AM CDT
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.
07/04/2012 8:16:50 AM CDT
MJ says ...
Eat them! And share them with lots and lots of people!
07/04/2012 8:11:52 AM CDT
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!?
07/04/2012 8:09:20 AM CDT
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!
07/04/2012 8:07:57 AM CDT
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.
07/04/2012 8:05:08 AM CDT
Andrea says ...
Eat some, juice some, preserve some
07/01/2012 7:54:11 AM CDT
Deanna says ...
Eat some myself and share with my coworkers.
07/06/2012 9:46:20 AM CDT
Julia says ...
Eat a whole bunch, then pies, then gifting to family friends. :)
07/06/2012 9:50:02 AM CDT
Laura says ...
Share them with all the people I love.
07/04/2012 7:40:09 AM CDT
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.
07/06/2012 10:49:59 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 7:29:51 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 7:06:04 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 7:07:44 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 7:05:03 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 7:03:47 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 6:57:18 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 6:49:32 AM CDT
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
07/03/2012 6:45:52 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 6:44:11 AM CDT
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
07/03/2012 6:35:10 AM CDT
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....
07/03/2012 6:31:33 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 6:30:11 AM CDT
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.
07/03/2012 6:21:56 AM CDT