Although we may be starting to plan our fall vacations, we are still in season for summer fruits. The Cherry or ‘Cerasum’ as it is referred to in Latin, is a fruit that has been consumed since prehistoric times and is a member of the plant species, genus prunus. It is recorded that Cherries were exported to Rome via expedition to modern- day Turkey dating back to 72 B.C.
The rounded, little fleshy fruits that gush open with tartly sweet juices are harvested during a very short growing season. In fact, Cherries are only grown in native temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, and are to be picked or shaken off of cherry trees. Since the prunus family cannot grow near any warm tropical regions, cherry seeds require exposure to cold temperature in order to germinate, that’s the reason why the pits are planted in autumn and don’t begin to emerge till the spring.
In the United States most of our Cherry crop is grown in states like: Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Wisconsin and Michigan. The Cherry made its way to America, when French settlers planted seeds near the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Those small fruit lings, surprisingly house very low levels of fat, with only 77 Calories/per cup of ‘Sour Cherries.’ In addition, they have significant levels of nutrition, including: Melatonin (a hormone produced in the brain known to slow aging and lower body temperature, which helps fight insomnia and provides better sleep patterns); a unique grouping of antioxidants suspected to even help in preventing cancer; 26% Vitamin A; ‘Sweet Cherries’ can help balance blood pressure since they are loaded with potassium offsetting sodium levels; rich in beta carotene; Vitamin C and have been linked to lowering levels of uric acid, which in turn reduce swelling and the inflammation that can cause diseases like gout if untreated.