Thursday, June 28, 2007


For years, I loved Bing Cherries. As a child, they were my most favorite food. I thought that they were special - just for me. They only came into season for a few weeks before my birthday and then, a week or so later, like magic, they were gone. I remember sitting on the floor in front of my parent's couch watching DuckTales and eating cherry after cherry out of the thin plastic bag. I would eat until I was sick. I love the firm ripe deep red ones and would savor the sweet juice as I ate each one. I would leave even most slightly mushy cherries behind - they weren't worth my effort and ruined the wonderful perfection of the other cherries. I really loved Bing cherries.

Then, two years ago, I discovered Rainier cherries, and suddenly the Bings seemed like a cheap imitation. Everything about the Rainiers is better. They are sweeter without being too sweet; they are firmer; they are perfect even when bruised and blemished; they taste like heaven with blue cheese and honey. The only problem with them is the price. It hurts to spend $6.99 a pound for fruit, but what can you do when its true love and its only available for a few short weeks each summer?

Last winter I tried to get my cherry fix with something that can't remotely live up to either of those fresh varieties - frozen sweet cherries. While far better than canned, nothing about them compares to the sensation of popping a a firm ripe cherry in your mouth and scraping the pit clean with your teeth. They serve a purpose, but frozen cherries only make me long for summer and its bounty.

I'm so glad summer is here.

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