Tart Cherries: An On-Trend Superfruit That's Always in Season

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Tart cherries were a stand-out star at the recent Fancy Food Show, described as a "homegrown superfruit with functional credentials." The nutrient profile of tart cherries is not the only reason these ruby-red fruits are hotter than ever. Trend experts say tart flavors are on the rise, due to consumers' changing palate that prefers a less sweet taste.

"There's no denying the power of tart, it's fundamental to our sense of taste," said Stella Parks, a food blogger at BraveTart, who was named one of Food & Wine's 2012 Best New Pastry Chefs. "People crave the excitement of sour flavors. Tart cherries are a natural match for cocktails and desserts, but I love using that bright pop of sour to cut through the richness of grilled meats, or to add a burst of intensity to salads and grains."

Tart fruits and vegetables are more than just delicious – they tend to be good for you, too. A tart taste and bright color are typically cues for more good-for-you phytonutrients inside. And that's certainly the case with Montmorency tart cherries – one of the boldest fruits you can find. Luckily, these superfruits, which contain anthocyanins – a flavonoid that contributes to their bright red color and distinguishing taste – are available year-round in dried, juice, frozen and concentrate forms.

This tiny fruit that packs one powerful punch of flavor is in the height of harvest season. July marks tart cherry harvest season for this predominantly US grown superfruit, and as growers and processors are preparing for a fruitful crop, it's time to start rounding up delicious tart cherry recipes. A few summer tart cherry treats are bound to get any palate hooked.  So, get on board with the tart trend and enjoy tart cherries in a variety of ways, this summer and beyond.

Cool summertime treats
These chilly treats are the perfect addition to a hot summer day.

  • Tart Cherry Limeade: This inviting red beverage garnished with fresh lime slices is the perfect summer cool-down.
  • Tart Cherry & Coconut Milk Popsicle: These colorful red and white popsicles are not only full of flavor, they are fun to make!
  • Tart Cherry Gazpacho: Cinnamon, vanilla and fresh lemon juice complement tart cherry juice and frozen cherries for a refreshing, flavorful chilled soup.
  • Tangy Cherry Tea Sorbet: A tasty frozen refreshment to beat the summertime heat.

 

On-the-go snacks
Try these easy on-the-go snacks for a quick mid-day energy boost.

  • Crunchy Cherry Party Mix: The perfect combination of sweet and salty, this summer mix is sure to leave you satisfied.
  • Hemp & Cherry Energy Bites: Balls of tart cherry-infused dough beautifully coated with hemp seeds make a great summer post-workout snack.
  • Wholesome Granola Bars: Tart cherries, almonds and cinnamon make this chewy bar a flavorful nutritious snack.

 

What to bring to summer parties
Salads, appetizers and desserts: we've got you covered.

  • Fire-Roasted Corn and Cherry Salsa: This corn and cherry salsa is bursting with flavor, and doubles as a dip or entree garnish.
  • Mango Cherry Avocado Salad: This crisp, cool salad pairs wonderfully with any summer entree.
  • Triple-Cherry Honey-Bourbon Pie: It wouldn't be summer without a good old-fashioned cherry pie. With three forms of tart cherries, this recipe is sure to keep guests coming back for more.

For more information on tart cherries and more delicious recipe ideas, visit ChooseCherries.com or Pinterest.com/choosecherries.

 

 

 

SOURCE Cherry Marketing Institute