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Cherry History

Long, rich cherry history results in thousands of varieties

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cherries cherry recipes bing rainier fruit receipts

Bing and Rainier Cherries

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
One of the most beautiful signs of spring is the flowering of the cherry tree, promising luscious fruit in a matter of a short few months. Dessert recipes abound for both sweet and sour cherries, but cherries can also give a touch of class to savory dishes and vegetables as you will see from the cherry recipes.

Cherry History

The cherry is one of the world's oldest cultivated fruits, along with its cousin, the apricot. Cultivation dates back to 300 B.C. and its lineage dates back even farther.

The common cherry tree, Prunus avium, is native to the temperate areas of eastern Europe and western Asia and is part of the Rose family.

Its name comes originally from the Greek, and in Latin means of or for the birds, due to the birds' obvious love of the fruit. The English word cherry originates from the Assyrian karsu and Greek kerasos. The tree was beloved by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans both for its beautiful flowers and its versatile fruit.

Although a different species of cherry was already strongly established in America by the time the first colonists arrived, the new settlers brought along their favorite European variety and eventually cross-bred the two. Today, 90 percent of the commercial cherry crop is grown in the U.S., mostly in Michigan, California, Oregon and Washington.

The most popular variety is the Bing cherry, which was developed by Seth Luelling od Milwaukie, Oregon in 1875. It was allegedly named for his Manchurian foreman. There are now thousands of varieties of cherries and most are still picked by hand.

More About Cherries and Cherry Recipes

Cherry Selection, Storage, and Freezing
Cherry Cooking Tips and Hints
Cherry Varieties - Sour or Sweet?
Cherry Measures, Equivalents and Substitutions
Famous Cherry Recipes - The truth about Maraschino cherries
Cherry History
Cherry Lore and Legend
Cherry Recipes
Cherries Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

* Cherry Home Companion: A Cherry Cookbook
* Nicole Routhier's Fruit Cookbook
* Stone Fruit: Cherries, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Peaches
* Sweet and Sugarfree
* More Cookbooks
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