Whether you’re celebrating with a delicious pie, a tasty cobbler, or a sweet smoothie, cherries are a versatile fruit that can be used in many delicious ways.
From their sweet flavor to the vibrant red hue, cherries have been cherished for centuries for their unique flavor, texture, and vibrant color.
Join us as we explore the history and fun facts, and discover why they deserve a day dedicated to their glory. So, let’s dive in and celebrate National Cherry Day together!
When is the National Day of Cherries?
On July 16th, National Cherry Day celebrates this fruit’s rich history and impact on worldwide cultures. Cherries have become a symbol of summer and are used in various dishes and desserts.
Wonderful History of Cherries
Cherries have been enjoyed by people since the Roman Empire and Chinese dynasties and were brought to America by early settlers in the 1600s.
In 1852, Peter Dougherty initiated modern U.S. cherry production by establishing a cherry tree nursery in Michigan.
The ideal climate in the Midwest region led to the mass harvesting of cherries, which soon surpassed other major crops.
The first commercial tart cherry orchards were established in Michigan in 1893, and the fruit was distributed across the region.
Made from sugary cherries, the maraschino quickly gained popularity in the United States. Infusing a native cherry called the Marasca with liquor, merchants in the Balkan Peninsula and northern Italy created this dessert cherry.
The maraschino cherry was shipped to the United States in the 1890s and became popularized.
In 1896, U.S. cherry processors started experimenting with indigenous sweet cherries to create maraschino cherries that used less liqueur in processing and added almond oil instead.
The liqueur was taken off the menu altogether at some point. By 1920, the non-native maraschino cherry had been phased out of American commerce in favor of the American kind.
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Reasons to Love National Cherry Day
It is a great way to honor the delightful fruit and recognize its many benefits. Let me share some reasons why you should also love this event.
Versatile and Flavorful
Cherries can be enjoyed in various ways, from sweet to savory dishes. You can add them to smoothies, salads, and desserts or use them to make jams and sauces.
They also pair well with savory dishes like pork or chicken. Their versatility and unique flavor make them a fun and exciting ingredient to experiment with in the kitchen.
Cherries are packed with health benefits, from helping to reduce inflammation to providing antioxidants and vitamins.
Studies have even linked cherries to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and help protect against heart disease. Eating cherries has also been linked to improved sleep and reduced stress.
Cherry Day falls in the summer season, which is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, juicy cherries.
The holiday celebrates the peak season for cherries, and it’s a great opportunity to savor the sweet taste of the fruit while it’s at its best.
The holiday can also be a great excuse to gather with friends and family for a summer picnic or BBQ.
Fun Ideas to Celebrate Cherry Day
From tantalizing recipes to fun activities, here are some of the best ways to enjoy the National Day of Cherries.
Enjoy Delicious Cherry Recipes
Whether you’re a fan of sweet desserts or savory dishes, plenty of recipes make delicious use of cherries. Consider making a cherry pie or a cherry crumble for a sweet treat.
Consider making a cherry salsa to serve over grilled chicken or fish for a savory dish. Or, if you’re looking for something unique, try a cherry-based barbecue sauce or a cherry salad.
Have a Cherry Tasting Party
Cherry varieties come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Celebrate this day by hosting a cherry-tasting party with your friends and family.
Try different types of cherries, such as Rainier or Bing, and see which ones are your favorites.
You can also pair the cherries with different cheeses, chocolates, and wines for a full sensory experience.
Create Cherry-Themed Cocktails
Another fun way to enjoy this day is by creating some cherry-themed cocktails. You can use fresh cherries to make cherry syrup or cherry-infused liquor.
Mix it with your favorite spirits and garnish with a cherry for a festive touch. Some popular cherry cocktails include the Cherry Old Fashioned, Cherry Bomb, and Cherry Margarita.
Start a Cherry Growing Project
You can start by planning out the space where you’ll plant your cherry trees.
Then, purchase some cherry saplings from your local nursery and plant them in your chosen area. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some delicious fruits too.
Take a Virtual Cherry Tour
If you cannot travel to a cherry orchard in person, consider taking a virtual cherry tour.
Many virtual tours are available online that can take you worldwide to cherry orchards, farms, and more. You can even make a virtual cherry pie or a virtual cherry crumble.
Interesting Facts about Cherries
- Cherries belong to the rose family and other fruit trees such as apples, pears, peaches, and almonds. That’s why cherry blossoms look similar to apple blossoms!
- They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Because of the antioxidants they contain, they may also be useful in reducing inflammation and preventing heart disease.
- Cherries can be found in various hues, from red and yellow to black. In fact, there are over 1,000 varieties of cherries!
National Cherry Day is a time to celebrate cherries’ unique flavor, vibrant color, and versatile uses.
Whether you choose to indulge in a cherry pie, smoothie, or cherry-themed cocktail, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this delicious fruit.
And let’s not forget the many health benefits of cherries, from reducing inflammation to promoting better sleep. So, mark your calendars for July 16th and join in the celebration of this event.