Cherries are a member of the genus prunus, which includes apricots, peaches, plums and other stone fruit. There are two main cherry species: sweet cherries are often sold as just generic fresh cherries, but on occasion you can find specific varieties such as summit, sweetheart and Bing available in the Australian market; they vary in colour from light- to deep-red and almost black. The rarer Rainier 'white' cherry, another sweet variety, has a beautiful, creamy yellow skin with a red blush.
Choose cherries that have shiny, unblemished skins, firm flesh and stems attached. Store, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week or in their box for two-plus weeks. They may be frozen for up to three months, but are best cooked after freezing.
Sweet cherries are best eaten raw as a snack, in salads or otherwise macerated in alcohol or fruit juice and sugar. They can be cooked in sauces or made into preserves. Sour cherries are best cooked and preserved for use in desserts such as black forest cake, strudels and pies.
Almonds, berries, butter, chocolate, citrus, cream, fresh cheeses, game, rosewater, stone fruit.