Whole Story

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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




Kate says ...
I love cherries! I would eat them several ways: off the stem, in a pie, dehydrated, in fruit salad, and in jam. Lots of options for this gorgeous fruit.
06/27/2012 6:46:02 AM CDT
Joanne Barrow says ...
I have been receiving extraordinary care from a highly unusual and profoundly skilled psychologist after the devastating loss of my mother. He has lighted my path to recovery and continues to guide me with warmth and understanding. I would love to win these cherries so that I could give them to him to share with his family as a token of my appreciation. Thank you.
06/27/2012 6:46:04 AM CDT
Dasha says ...
I would make lots of yogurt parfaits, pies, and smoothies!
06/27/2012 6:48:28 AM CDT
Cara says ...
What an awesome giveaway! I would make gluten free cherry pie and cherry cobbler! YUM!!!!
06/27/2012 7:03:08 AM CDT
Megan says ...
I would probably eat half of them in a week! And then make a cherry cobbler! I had fresh roadside cherries for the first time in May when my boyfriend and I drove across California during a weekend trip. They were amazing!
06/27/2012 7:05:59 AM CDT
Rebecca Stahl says ...
I would take them to work and share them. I work in a very stressful, and often depressing, field, and most of my coworkers use sugar to get through the day. I would use the case of cherries as a reminder that healthy food can taste just as good as refined junk and still provide the "sugar boost" we sometimes think we need. It may seem boring, but most people bring donuts to the office. It would be great to bring something healthy and really great tasting.
06/27/2012 7:22:13 AM CDT
isaac says ...
I would make a cherry pie! Thanks WF.
06/27/2012 7:41:16 AM CDT
Meg S says ...
I love cherries! I would probably eat about half just by themselves and make cherry pie! And maybe a clafoutis. And more. Yum.
06/27/2012 7:51:53 AM CDT
Julia says ...
hmm i just got a recipe for ricotta and cherry ice cream--so I'd definitely have to try that out! I also cut cherries in half and squeeze them a bit before dropping them in my seltzer water. IIRC theres a great kale and cherry recipe on the WF website as well. I seriously could (and have) pop cherries in my mouth all day!
06/27/2012 7:53:16 AM CDT
Andria says ...
I'd make a cherry pie with whole-wheat crust!
06/27/2012 8:12:06 AM CDT
Kathy G says ...
By time DH and I finished gorging ourselves, there wouldn't be many left :-) I'd freeze or dehydrate the rest to make the cherry goodness last as long as possible.
06/27/2012 8:12:48 AM CDT
Mark S says ...
Cherry pie to start then a whole lot of cherry preserves!
06/27/2012 8:17:10 AM CDT
Kristin says ...
I would make a couple of cherry pies and freeze a ton for smoothies!
06/27/2012 8:29:55 AM CDT
Megan says ...
I'd make a cherry crostata (I'm pretty sure it's a WF recipe!) and then freeze the rest for my kids to eat throughout the winter. We love frozen cherries.
06/27/2012 8:32:11 AM CDT
Jesika says ...
Not gonna lie... I'd do my best to eat an entire crate of cherries. I'm sure there are considerably more productive things I could be doing with this crate, but honestly? I'd rather eat 'em :)
06/27/2012 8:49:06 AM CDT
Sue Thompson says ...
I'm on a weight loss journey and am embracing all the fresh fruits and veggies...cherries are a fav for me, so I would eat as many as is healthy, share some with my grown family and grandsons and maybe try my hand at a cobbler!
06/27/2012 8:59:55 AM CDT
Brenda says ...
I just got a brand new awesome blender so I would make some incredible smoothies!
06/27/2012 9:02:45 AM CDT
Sally Van Meter says ...
Cherries, Cherry, Cherry, the rubiest jewel of fruit; I grew up in the country with Washington Cherry trees and many a mud pie, cake, tart, cookies and turnovers I baked with my sister Connie in our outdoor bakery atop our water well Dusting with dry soft earth for powdered sugar, whole cherries, half cherries, crushed cherries, red cherries dripping down our chins and staining our fingers And mud fights and cherries! Mud balls and cherries, cherries rinsed in the rain, Cherries by the fistfull in the sweet early summer days sitting in our cardboard play houses under a willow tree Cherries now I eat in the middle of the night when the air is soft and scented with the age of my 75 year old cherry trees in my back yard; my cottage, no longer cardboard, sits on an old cherry orchard in northeast Portland. Aaah, give me those cherries to share the wealth of the Pacific Northwest Ruby!
06/27/2012 9:06:27 AM CDT
Elizabeth says ...
Eat them all!
06/27/2012 9:24:07 AM CDT
Jonnie (JB) says ...
I would make cherry pies for my family and neighbours
06/27/2012 9:29:19 AM CDT
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!
06/27/2012 9:42:44 AM CDT
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!
06/27/2012 9:45:36 AM CDT
Lisa says ...
I would share them with my family and make several different baked goods and incorporate cherries in them....yummy!
06/27/2012 9:46:42 AM CDT
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!
06/27/2012 9:53:58 AM CDT
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.
06/27/2012 9:58:32 AM CDT