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    Cherries Jubilee at Your Farmers’ Market

    By Debra Morris–

    Have you ever seen a cherry orchard in early spring? It is one of the prettiest sights there is. Rows of trees follow undulating hills showing off their pink blossoms, quickly followed by bright green leaves and then—drum roll, please—one of the season’s favorite fruits: cherries!

    The season for cherries has begun. It’s a short one, usually lasting only until the end of June, so hustle down to your farmers’ market and pick up several bags of these juicy red orbs before they’re gone. Their gorgeous colors and amazing flavors are a veritable feast for the eyes, and stomachs!

    Your farmers grow a variety of sweet cherries with subtle taste differences, some even coming from interesting boutique varieties. Beginning with the Brooks and Bing cherries, the season moves on to the Rainiers, Royal Hazels and Burlats. Some cherry growers even bring a variety called Champagne Coral, a tasty little number that will make your eyes glaze over with its amazing flavor. You can bet that you won’t find these varieties at your local supermarket!

    These fabulous cherries can be found at your farmers’ market from Rodin Farms out of Oakdale. Their large, sweet Bing cherries offer a tangy sweet flavor, perfect for eating out of hand and for making baked goodies. Allard Farms from Westley have varieties you won’t find at the grocery store, like the amazing Champagne Coral, Brooks, Lapins and the luscious Sweet Heart. So, get out to your market and taste one of the season’s rare and wonderful fruits.

    Grab a big bag of cherries and spice up your table with some piquant Cherry Salsa! Olé!






    Cherry Salsa
    2 cups chopped cherries

    1 cup chopped cucumber

    1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped

    1/4 cup minced cilantro

    1 garlic clove, minced

    2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

    1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Chop cherries and veggies and place them in a medium-sized bowl. Add white balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir gently. Let the salsa sit for 30 minutes before serving. Serve on pork or chicken, or with tortilla chips. Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA.

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Check out the PCFMA website for recipes, information about farmers’ markets throughout the region and for much more: