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Sweetheart cherries are a late season cherry, known for their extra-long hang time and prized for their bright red outer skin and heart-like shape. The inner flesh of the Sweetheart cherry is very juicy with a firm texture. This cherry, as the name suggests, offers a sugary sweet flavor with a well balanced tart finish.
Sweetheart cherries are available middle to late summer.
The Sweetheart cherry is a new variety of Prunus avium from Canada. It was bred at the Summerland Research Station in British Columbia. The Sweetheart cherry offers a late prolonged harvest, a heavy crop, and crisp crack resistant fruit. It is a self-fertile cherry tree that produces a healthy crop even as a standalone tree.
Sweetheart cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment inherently found within berries. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that are being heavily researched for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammation and pain reduction. Cherries are also a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
Sweetheart cherries make an excellent choice for fresh eating, but are also suitable for cooked applications in both sweet or savory dishes. They may be used similarly to other sweet cherry varieties, offering a classic cherry flavor and sturdy texture ideal for preserves and baked goods, but also excellent for stuffing in pork or duck when combined with savory herbs and other aromatics. Commonly paired ingredients include, burrata, feta, mascarpone, brie, basil, nuts, fennel, pistachios, arugula, yogurt, cream, dark chocolate and berries such as blueberry and blackberry.
The Sweetheart cherry was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 2014.
The Sweetheart cherry was introduced to the market in 1990, making it one of the newest commercial varieties. It was bred from the Van and Newstar strains, and has become such a prolific producer that early pruning is often necessary to avoid heavy, breaking branches. They flourish in temperate climatic zones that experience four seasons with a hard freeze during the winter months.
Recipes that include Sweetheart Cherries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Complete Savorist||Balsamic Cherries and Ricotta|