Fresh Cherries Featured at 50 Top US Restaurants to Mark National Rainier Cherry Day
In celebration of National Rainier Cherry Day on July 11, 50 top US restaurants will be dishing up at least one signature menu item featuring fresh cherries from the Northwest highlighting delicious Rainier cherries. For its third annual Tree-to-Table program, the Northwest Cherry Growers have handpicked one restaurant in each state that will take part in the program, with some featuring a special dish for the day, while others will offer special menu items throughout the remainder of the month. A full list of participating restaurants and details is at www.nwcherries.com/treetotable.
“We are excited to yet again bring Rainier cherries to diners in all corners of the country through our fantastic restaurant partners,” said James Michael, vice president of marketing, North America for Northwest Cherries. “This was originally just a one-year program, but we had so many requests from restaurants that we’ve extended it for this third and final year. The consumer response to their creations—from appetizers and cocktails to entrees and desserts—surprised us all. Hopefully this will inspire people to try cherries in some new flavor combinations at home.”
Created in 1972 in Washington state by cross-breeding the more common Bing and Van cherry varieties, the unique golden-blushed Rainier is named after the state’s iconic mountain, Mt. Rainier. Rainiers are a premium variety only grown in small amounts due to the extra care and attention the trees require. They are regarded for their sweetness and flavor with a lower acidity, making them a perfect ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes. Parents love them as a snack, as their juice is a light color and won’t stain kids’ clothes. Though now grown around the world, Rainier cherries are primarily grown in the Northwest region, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Montana, and are available for a limited time through July.
Along with being delicious summer treats, sweet cherries grown in the Northwest—including the shiny, golden Rainier and iconic Bing varieties, among others—are known for their high fiber and low calorie count. A study showcasing the anti-inflammatory properties of sweet cherries was published in the March issue of the Journal of Nutrition. Further, over the past few years cherries have also received increased recognition for their role in preventing serious illness and diseases as well as regulating existing ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, hypertension, and stroke, and also aiding in better sleep.
For the third year, the Tree-to-Table program will travel across the country to bring Northwest Rainier cherries to all 50 states. Participating restaurants include nationally-recognized establishments such as BierBeisl in Los Angeles and Bacchanalia in Atlanta. To learn more about the Northwest Cherries Tree-to-Table program, find a list of participating restaurants or get delicious cherry recipes visit www.nwcherries.com/treetotable.