Cherries are small stone fruit produced by cherry trees.
There are many different cherry species, including the sour cherry, sweet cherry, Taiwan cherry, Oregan cherry, dwarf cherry, Fuji cherry, Manchurian cherry, Korean cherry, Japanese cherry, Chinese cherry and Himalayan cherry.
Cherries have been consumed by humans for thousands of years.
Sweet cherries are the most cultivated form of cherry. Sour cherries are also cultivated but mainly used in cooking.
Some cherries are harvested by shaking the fruit off the tree; others are picked by hand.
Cherry trees typically produce their first fruit three or four years after being planted. They can be challenging trees to keep healthy.
Cherry trees need hundreds of chilling hours below 7 °C (°45 °F) before they bloom and produce fruit. They do not grow well in tropical climates.
The annual production of sweet cherries worldwide is close to 3 million tonnes. Leading producers include Turkey, Chile, the United States, Uzbekistan and Iran.
Russia is the leading producer of sour cherries.
Cherry kernels, found inside the pits, contain a poisonous compound called amygdalin, which can cause sickness if consumed. Swallowing the pits whole isn’t usually a problem, however.
Cherry wood is often used in the manufacture of quality furniture.
Cherries are popular in jams, pies, scones, tarts, and other forms of baking.
Sweet cherries are made up of approximately 82% water, 16% carbohydrates, 1% protein and almost no fat.
Sweet cherries contain around 8 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Roughly 13 grams per cup.
Sweet cherries contain around 63 calories per 100 grams.
Sweet cherries aren’t particularly high in essential nutrients but do contain a reasonable amount of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Sour cherries contain roughly 50% more vitamin C and 20 times more vitamin A than sweet cherries.