I’m in the Seattle area for the next 2 weeks with the family. We are spending this weekend hiking the spectacular Mt Rainier National Park. On the drive down from Seattle, we stopped by a fruit stand and bought some beautiful cherries. The big luscious red cherries were sweet, firm, and meaty. Pure heaven.
The yellow cherries seemed like an oddity, until we tasted one of them. They were even more flavorful and sweet than the reds!
The popular sweet red cherry is of the Bing cultivar. It’s what we see in most markets and grocers during the summer months. The yellow variety is a relatively new cultivar called Rainier Cherry. It was developed in the early 1950′s at Washington State University as a cross between the Bing and Van cultivars.
The Rainier is a very delicate fruit to grow and handle. Fluctuations in temperature, excessive wind, or harsh rain will ruin the crop. Birds eat about a third of the fruit as it grows on the tree. The yellow-pink skin is so delicate that after harvest, it tends to bruise easily. But all these hardships must be worth the effort for growers, as these cherries are priced very high.
If you get a chance, try them out. The season is about to end.