Drying Cherries For The Consumer
Drying cherries can refer to two different strategies used to preserve or protect cherries. On the first level, it refers to one of the most important activities that farmers worry about during a period of two to three weeks before the cherry harvest. Simply put, while the cherries are ripening on the branches shortly before they are harvested, they need to be kept in a constantly dry condition otherwise they can rot or be damaged by molds. Drying cherries mean that after the rains come in, farmers immediately need to scramble to dry the cherries to preserve their peak condition ensuring a bountiful harvest.
The practice of drying cherries does not discriminate between sweet and tart cherries but is rather common to both. This is because the molds that oftentimes cause havoc on cherry harvests love the combination of water and the soft cherry tissue. Regardless of the sugar content, cherries will almost always be a prime target for mold attack in wet weather which is why cherry growers are employing sophisticated techniques and methods to ensure that drying cherries happen as effectively and as quickly as possible.
The common methods include using big fans to blow air through the cherries to facilitate drying. There are also methods that involve flying an airplane at very low altitude to help stir up wind that in turn dries the cherries. All these methods help to ensure that moisture is removed from the cherry fruit and trees within a period of a few hours after the rain. Hopefull the sun will also be there to help out.
The second facet of drying cherries refers to drying after the harvest. This is done in huge quantities as a method to prolong their shelf life. The fragile nature of cherries means they only survive in the fresh state for up to 2 weeks after harvest. To continue eating cherries beyond this point, many farmers and cherry lovers alike process the cherries to produce dried cherries that can last for up to a year.
Common methods of drying cherries include a dehydrator which takes out all the moisture at 140C of heat. This process takes about 10-15 hours to complete and concentrates the cherry juices by removing the excess water. The result is a chewy material much like prunes but still with enough texture and water content to be incorporated into deserts for months to come.
Alternatively, some cherry consumers prefer their cherries over dried and they accomplish this with prolonged exposure to heat. The cherries turn out to be crispier with significantly less water content. This also results in cherries that can last for a full year on the shelf providing a convenient source of cherry ingredients the whole year round.
Whatever your preference when it comes to cherries, it is likely that you have relied on methods of drying cherries to help you get your cherry fix year long. It’s a very delicate process that allows cherries to survive for much longer periods. Thanks to it, we are guaranteed to have dried cherries for a great snak or to make our favorite dessert in the midst of December; now isn’t that a delightful thought?
We have the largest selection of good cherry articles and recipes on the internet. Hopefully this information on drying cherries has been helpful. Next week we will be adding an article on how to dry cherries at home for anyone interested.