Whether you like them sweet or sour, there is only a brief window of time to enjoy fresh cherries. While sweet cherries are often sold fresh, most of the sour-cherry crop, also called "pie" cherries, is canned, dried or frozen.
What You Get: Cherries are rich in antioxidants: anthocyanidins, which bolster antioxidant defenses, and quercetin, which may help regulate blood pressure. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
Shopping Tips: Sweet cherries can be found in the produce section of most markets during cherry season. Sweet-cherry varieties include Bing, Rainier and Lambert.
Sour cherries, which are too tart to eat out of hand, are most often used as pie filling. Find them frozen, canned and dried in most supermarkets; they are more difficult to find fresh. Varieties include Early Richmond, Montmorency and Morello.
Select cherries that are firm, plump and shiny without soft spots or bruising.
Storage Tip: Store fresh cherries in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase.
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