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

Kristen says …

I would eat them until I felt sick! Then I would dry some and make cherry crisp and cherry ice cream from the rest!

Michelle says …

EAT THEM! or make cherry salsa, cherry pie, cherry cupcakes, cherry pancakes....YUM!

Leela says …

I would start with making cherry syrup for a refreshing cherry soda. I'd also have to make cherry ice cream, cherry cobbler, and cherry smoothies. Of course, I'd leave plenty for eating just like that!

Johannah says …

I would share them... and then make cherry pie, and cherry cobbler for 4th. of July - or really anytime!

Steph says …

Will use as medicine (and also dehydrate). Recently discovered that tart cherries are a remedy to my chronic hives condition. Cherry juice, dried cherries, fresh black cherries, frozen tart cherries... all work like a miracle!

Patricia says …

I'd can pretty jars of cherry compote to give as gifts.

Michele Cusack says …

I would make cherry clafoutis, because I just learned a great method for pitting cherries, using a empty bottle with a small top (beer or wine works well) and a chopstick. It's really fun, and none of the pits accidentally end up on the floor or, even worse, down the garbage disposal! Get the picture?

Veronica says …

Cherries!!! I would make cherry pie, cherry empanandas...cherry popsicles and of course some cherry jam!!

ingrid daniels says …

ah...a whole CASE of cherries is a dream! my family consists of 3 kids (2, 4 & 6 year old), my husband and me -- and we ALL love cherries. We'd of course eat them fresh (chilled), put them in ice cream, make some jam, try to "sun dry" some (because we love those too), make a pie and of course share them (my parents, grammy and pop-pop, love cherries too -- she always brings some for the kids bc she knows how much they adore them). then we'll laugh at all the cherry juice we get everywhere as we enjoy them! summer isn't summer at our house without fresh cherries!

Bonnie says …

Make preserves and chocolate covered cherries for my 5 year old son who loves them!

Jessica says …

I would love a whole case of cherries! Wow, the possibilities! I would first eat a few handfuls straight up, but then try to incorporate them into every meal. I could make a cherry jam to top whole wheat waffles or add them to a greek yogurt for a sweet protein breakfast! I would also love to try to make a savory dish with cherries!! MmMmMmmm YUM!

Tammy Gallicano says …

I would have a Cherry pitting party!! Invite friends and neighbors and share them! I LOVE cherry pie! That would be the first thing I would make! Second, cherry cheesecake, and third.... maybe cherry preserves (is someone would teach me how to do that). :)

Lauren says …

I would bake some pies/cakes and snack on them plain! I love cherries!!!

Kathie says …

Make cherry clafoutis with chickpea flour.

Tina W. says …

I would make cherry jam and cherry cordial.

Sam Bowden says …

I would eat some fresh, make cherry preserves, freeze some and bake a few pies to share with family and friends.

Montse says …

eat them and give away to friends and family

Valerie Mangum says …

Make cherry pie and cobblers and puree some baby food for my daughter!

Lee says …

I would make cherry pocket pies for the perfect 4th of July picnic.

Jennifer says …

I would definitely bring them to work so I can snack on them and I'd try my vegan blueberry cobble recipe with these delicious cherries!

Jennifer LaTour says …

If I won a whole case of cherries, I'd eat some as is and enjoy them in their natural state. I'd share some with family and friends. I'd make a cherry pie. I'd freeze some for later. And I'd make a jam or jelly.

Joe Milkes says …

I'd probably taken them over to the Samaritan Inn in McKinney which provides temp housing for families. Although I like cherries, I would probably get more enjoyment in sharing them with some folks who may be down on their luck and would really enjoy them probably more than I can imagine.

sheila dubin says …

Have a ball eatomg thrm and share with friends and family

Christine Connallon says …

I would bake, make preserves and share cherries with everyone I know!

sheila dubin says …

Have a ball eatomg thrm and share with friends and family

Carolyn Killey says …

I would have a party and invite my friends and we would eat them plain, on ice cream, in yogurt and any other way I could. If there were any left, I would freeze them for later.

David says …

Preserve them - our daughter loves cherries

Barb says …

I would make freezer jam. This can be used in many ways, toppings on crackers etc.

Meg Bressette says …

Cherries are a favorite of ours here too. Eating them fresh, adding them to fruit salads, claflouti, jam, bbq sauce and absolutely would use soe of them to make a true Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte for my DH. A case of fresh cherries would be like winning the lottery for me - so many options to enjoy them!

Maryann says …

Cherries and the beach go hand in hand. And cherry pie too of course!

Paula says …

I would make a cobbler, some blintzes, and give some away.

Cortney says …

I would enjoy them fresh for as long as possible! And dip some in chocolate to take to a summer BBQ. Then I used what is left to make cherry preserves and chocolate-cherry brownies!

Cindy Lincoln says …

My family would eat every last one of them--and I would probably share some with my friends.

crystal says …

I always shop at WholeFoods for their fresh vegetables and fruits. Cheeries are one of my favorite fruits...so good for you!!! They are low in calories and good tasting too! I would share the cherries with my family as well as make cherry jam, cherry coffeecakes, pies, etc, I would freeze some so I could enjoy them later in the year. There are so many wonderful foods and desserts you can make with them..a very versitle food.

Tirtza says …

My family and I love cherries so a lot would be just for fresh eating,I'd give some to my neighbors, donate some to a kiddush at the synagogue, make cold cherry soup, and a couple jars of cherry jam. Yum!

Monika Brauer says …

Oh, I would share them with my mom and aunt and pitted the rest and freeze it to snack on them!!!! LOVE CHERRIES!!!!!

Julius says …

I'd use them to entice several monkeys to do my bidding. I haven't worked out the details yet, but I'm hoping to have an army of monkeys. You can make my dreams come true!

Jerry says …

I'd can them, and give them to only my best friends in the winter, when they are suffering from a combination of scurvy and SAD.

Elisa says …

I would make homemade cherry brandy for all my friends and family to enjoy after cherry season (sadly) comes to a close. Bottoms up!

Y. Mit says …

Eat fresh!!

Patricia says …

I would eat cherries for a month straight! LOL I have 9 Aunts and Uncles and 4 sisters. I would give them away to all my family!

Rudi says …

I'd brew 10 gallons of delicious cherry melomel!

James Tucker says …

Within 2 days, if fully ripened, I would pit the cherries for my wife to make her award winning jam and some of her contest winning pies to give away like her mother taught her. Will someone at Whole Foods taste it?

Evie says …

Frozen cherries are great to have when the fresh ones are no longer available, so of course I'd freeze some. I would make cherry tarts and preserves and add cherries to my fresh fruit salad (a frequent summer first course at our house). Maybe I'd try drying some of them for use in fall recipes. For sure not a cherry would go unused or unloved!

maryann says …

I would eat them as they are and enjoy every sweet and delicious bite. CHerries are my absolute favorite fruit.

Elissar says …

I would eat half fresh, make some cherry sangria, and make the rest into preserves.

amy says …

i would eat them, of course... and find some tasty things to bake them into. pie and bread, yummmmmm!!

Michael says …

I would be a bit like Forrest Gump--bake them in pies, add them to homemade ice cream, eat them as they are--and more! I would look forward to sharing them with neighbors.

zaina says …

I am on a weight loss plan and would.love some.fresh cherries!

Lin says …

Wow! I would definitely have Cherry-palooza in my kitchen!!! Pies, tarts, cumbles, preserves, oh my!

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