Depending on where you live, they’ll start to show up at grocery stores and farmer’s markets in June. But they’re gone as quick as they came, disappearing by the end of August. In the United States, people eat a whopping 1.6 pounds of them per year. I’m talking about big, beautiful cherries and they are in season now. When eaten, they provide many health benefits such as relieving insomnia, muscle pain, or even helping to ward off Alzheimer’s.
Many people knows how delightfully delicious (and healthy) cherries can be, but did you know that the largest cherry pie ever baked was 39,683 pounds? Or that Broadway Street in New York shifts west at East 10th Street because a cherry tree once stood there? Cherries have a long and interesting history beyond their delicious taste and amazing health benefits.
Here are 3 things you might not know about cherries.
1. Cherries Aren’t Berries
While cherries are closer in size and appearance to berries, they are actually classified as a fruit. In botanical terms, berries are a type of fruit– classified as “simple fleshy fruits” with one or many seeds, no core, and completely edible. Cherries have a pit, so they aren’t completely edible. Cherries, and all fruit that has one seed surrounded by a hard shell, are classified as “drupes” and commonly called stone fruits. These include peaches, plums and nectarines.
2. Cherry Pit-Spitting is a Thing
If you’re planning to cook with fresh cherries, you will need to remove the pits. While pitting cherries doesn’t sound like the average recreational activity, cherry pit-spitting is an actual thing. The International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship happens every year in Eau Claire, Michigan where people line up to see how far they can spit the pit. It’s grown so much in popularity that Eau Claire is now known as “the Cherry Pit Spitting Capital of the World.” For the rest of us, pitting cherries can seem an unwelcome chore at dinnertime- but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a quick and easy way to pit cherries (without a cherry pitter).
Related: How to Spit a Cherry Pit Like a Pro
3. There Are Weird Facts About Cherry Pie
Cherry pie is one of the most iconic of the classic fruit pies and it comes with some interesting facts.
- There are two “World’s Largest Cherry Pie” memorials and they’re only 50 miles apart, on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan in cherry farm country. Both boast a large over-size pie pan, but neither hold a title any longer. Canada currently holds the record for the “World’s Largest Cherry Pie” for baking a 39,683 pound cherry pie. That’s a lot of pie.
- Did you know that you can make approximately 44 cherry pies from one cherry tree? A single tart cherry tree can produce up to 7,000 cherries. One cherry pie contains an average of 4 cups of pitted cherries. One cup of fresh, pitted cherries contains approximately 40 cherries. So that means one single tree equals about 44 cherry pies.
- There is a widespread myth that at one time it was against the law for restaurants to serve cherry pie with ice cream in Kansas. But it’s not true.
Recipes to Try: