Life is just a bowl of cherries! So, make way for National Cherry Day, the time when this juicy little fruit is the star of the show.
History of National Cherry Day
Sweet cherries are believed to have originated in Asia Minor and were likely transported to Europe naturally with the help of migrating birds. The first to cultivate cherries were the Greeks, and the Romans continued on to expand the production of this healthy and tasty fruit.
Cherries made it to the United States in the 1600s with the help of English colonists who cultivated them, and they eventually moved west with settlers. Cherries are also grown in Europe. Although the crop sadly decreased significantly in the UK during the 20th century, it has begun to make a comeback over the past several years.
National Cherry Day is the ideal time to learn about, appreciate and enjoy this simple, healthy and delicious fruit!
How to Celebrate National Cherry Day
Celebrating National Cherry Day is no problem at all with such a delectable fruit at the center of attention. Try out some of these tips for celebrating the day:
Go Cherry Picking
Visiting a U-Pick farm for cherries is a fun way to enjoy National Cherry Day with friends and family. Michigan, Washington, California and Oregon are a few of the states that produce prolific cherry crops, but others states might also have cherry farms that offer opportunities for picking them.
Visit a Cherry Festival
A great activity to plan for National Cherry Day would be to enjoy a mid-summer festival that honors and celebrates all things related to cherries. The biggest cherry festival in the United States takes place in Traverse City, Michigan, which is in the northeastern portion of the state, near an area of famous sand dunes.
Often known as the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City celebrates the cherry each summer with live music and entertainment and tons of activities for the whole family. This includes a Cherry Festival queen contest, the Festival of Races, talent shows, parades, kids’ clubs, bike races, air shows, sand sculpture contests and so much more.
Enjoy Cooking and Baking with Cherries
Once a nice cherry crop has been picked, it’s time to create treats in the kitchen! Whether canning or freezing them to save for later, or using them fresh in various recipes, National Cherry Day is the perfect time to make plans for this delicious fruit.
Cherries can be enjoyed in a wide array of sweet and savory dishes, including:
- Cherry Pie. It’s impossible to go wrong with this delightful and tasty treat that can be made either from sweet or tart cherries. Just whip up a simple crust, make a filling with the fresh cherries and bake until golden.
- Cherry Ice Cream. Making homemade ice cream in the middle of the summer is great fun–and even better when it is mixed up with a fresh crop of cherry goodness!
- Cherry Jam. Tart cherries make the most delicious jams, which can be put in lovely jars and given as hand-made gifts.
- Cherry Barbecue Sauce. An unexpected ingredient in barbecue, cherries add a unique flavor that complements ribs or chicken.