VPR Cafe: Sweet Ways To Use Sour Cherries

Jun 22, 2017

Summer in Vermont is glorious for so many reasons including our delicious, locally grown, ripe and ready fruits. One of which is the sour cherry!

In this podcast, Melissa Pasanen, food editor for Vermont Life magazine, tells us about the taste of sour cherries, how to cook with them, and where to pick 'em.

The Sweetness Of Sour Cherries by Melissa Pasanen

You've picked your own berries and apples, but there's another compelling tree fruit you can harvest yourself this summer at several orchards around the state. Sour cherries grow a translucent true cherry-red among the branches and make for festive picking. Although too tart for most to eat out-of-hand, they cook up into fantastic pies, cobblers and crisps and go beautifully with rich meats like pork and duck.

At Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset, pick-your-own season comes with bonus views of the Taconic Range from the 75 year-old fruit orchard  where Tom and Sylvia Smith tend about 50 sour cherry trees, including the classic Montmorency, and newer to The U.S., a sweeter variety called Balaton.

Sour cherries this year in Vermont will start ripening at the end of June and go through mid to late July depending on location. Many orchards offer e-mail newsletter updates or check out these websites:

Here are a few sour cherry recipes, savory to sweet, with a bonus recipe you can make without pitting the cherries. Also a pitting tip: If you don't own a cherry pitter, try using a paper clip unfolded from the center and hooking the pit out with one of the curved, pointy ends.

The VPR Cafe is made possible with support from Bistro de Margot in Burlington. A chef-owned restaurant offering modern, French cuisine in a casual atmosphere.