Friday, February 18, 2011

Peaches and cherries

Last year of August 2010, Rain Dial [my sister] and Bembol dela Cruz went off to Singapore for Dela Cruz's "Badged" exhibit opening. Here's their pasalubong's...
Fresh pick Red Cherries (for the love of fruit...)... these plump red cherries have a sweet, firm and juicy flesh. Delicious eaten on their own or added to fruit salads and the peach. I loved canned peaches, I discovered it was more delightful to eat them fresh. :)

The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium.

Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in rats. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants under active research for a variety of potential health benefits. According to a study funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego, rats that received whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet did not gain as much weight or build up as much body fat, and their blood showed much lower levels of inflammation indicators that have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. In addition, they had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than the other rats.

Cherries have a very short growing season and can grow in most temperate latitudes. The peak season for cherries is in the summer. In Australia they are usually at their peak around Christmas time, in southern Europe in June, in North America in June, in south British Columbia (Canada) in July-mid August and in the UK in mid July. In many parts of North America they are among the first tree fruits to ripen.



Europe

Major commercial cherry orchards in Europe extend from the Iberian peninsula east to Anatolia, and to a smaller extent may also be grown in the Baltic States and southern Scandinavia.

North America

In the United States, most sweet cherries are grown in Washington, California, Oregon, and Northern Michigan. Important sweet cherry cultivars include "Bing", "Brooks", "Tulare", "King" and "Rainier". In addition, the Lambert variety is grown on the eastern side of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana.] Both Oregon and Michigan provide light-colored "Royal Ann" ('Napoleon'; alternately "Queen Anne") cherries for the maraschino cherry process. Most sour (also called tart) cherries are grown in Michigan, followed by Utah, New York, and Washington. Additionally, native and non-native cherries grow well in Canada (Ontario and British Columbia). Sour cherries include Nanking and Evans Cherry. Traverse City, Michigan claims to be the "Cherry Capital of the World", hosting a National Cherry Festival and making the world's largest cherry pie. The specific region of Northern Michigan that is known the world over for tart cherry production is referred to as the "Traverse Bay" region. Traverse Bay Farms is one Northern Michigan co-op supported organization in this region that helps to market Michigan-grown cherry products across the globe.


Australia

In Australia, cherries are grown in all the states except for the Northern Territory. The major producing regions are located in the temperate areas within New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Western Australia has limited production in the elevated parts in southwest of the state. Key production areas include Young, Orange and Bathurst inNew South Wales, Wandin, Goulburn Valley and Murray Valley in Victoria, Adelaide Hills region in South Australia, Huon and Derwent Valleys in Tasmania.
Key commercial varieties in order of seasonality include Empress, Merchant, Supreme, Rons Seedling, Chelan, Ulster, Van, Bing, Stella, Nordwunder, Lapins, Simone, Regina, Kordia and Sweetheart. New varieties are being introdeced including the late season Staccato and early season Sequoia. The Australian Cherry Breeding program is developing a series of new varieties which are under testing evaluation.
The New South Wales town of Young is called the "Cherry Capital of Australia" and hosts the National Cherry Festival.