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Sunday, 23 March 2014



Cherries are part of the Rosaceae family, which includes almonds, apricots, peaches and plums. Black cherry (Prunus serotina) trees are deciduous and native to eastern North America, and the cherries have a tart taste compared to other, sweet varieties.

The Chinese ate cherries around 600 BC but sweet cherries date back only to around 70 BC.

The word ‘cherry’ comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus, which was famed for its cherries.

The earliest known mention of cherries is in the History Of Plants by Theophrastus (372-272 BC). However, cherry pips have been found in Stone Age caves.

In 73 BC the Roman general Lucullus brought sour cherry trees to Rome from Turkey after his victory over Mithridates 6th, King of Pontus in North East Asia Minor. Lucullus named the cherry tree ‘Cerasus’ after a town of that name in what is now Turkey.

The ruby-red color and tangy taste of cherries ensured their popularity amongst the Greeks, Romans and Chinese. Indeed General Lucullus committed suicide in 58 BC when he realized he was running out of cherries.

It is said old Roman roads can be traced by the wild cherry trees that grew from the stones spat out by legions as they marched across the country.

The cherry was brought to Britain by the Romans in the 1st century AD.

The oldest-known cherry recipes were in The Forme of Cury. Written around 1390, The Forme of Cury was the first cookbook written in English. The book advised to pick cherries on June 24th and “do away with the stones.”

The nickname ‘Cherry-pickers’ was given to the 11th Hussars after they were attacked by the French while raiding a cherry orchard in Spain during the Peninsular War in 1811.

On November 18, 1938, 150 ladies protested on the construction site of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. because it was disturbing the cherry trees.

The expression “to cherry pick”, meaning to select only the best, dates back only to the 1960s.

Hot cherry stones were once used in bed-warming pans.

Since the 1930s, the UK has lost over 95 per cent of its cherry orchards. Most are now imported.


The world record for spitting a cherry stone is 93 feet 6.5 inches. It  was set by Brian Krause at the Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship at Eau Claire, Michigan, in 2003.

Cherries can lower levels of inflammation in the body sufficently enough to alleviate arthritis symptoms and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and Diabetes.

There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherry worldwide.

Turkey produces more cherries than any other country. The United States comes second.

Helicopters are used in cherry farming to dry cherries after it rains so they don’t soak in too much water and explode.

The cherries from an average cherry tree are enough to make 28 cherry pies.

Serving ice cream on cherry pie was once illegal in Kansas

Sources Daily Mail, Daily Express, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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