SOUR CHERRIES - Great for desserts and healthy too
Sour cherries are cherries that are more common and native to Asia and Europe. They have higher acidity and for this reason they tend to be sour when compared to their sweet counterparts. Sour cherries are primarily used for cooking. They are smaller in size compared to other cherries and they have a much rounder and spreading canopy when compared to sweet cherry trees. Sour cherry trees require cooler, humid climates but they do not require cross pollination because they happen to be self-fertile.
If you are planning on growing a sour cherry tree so as to have some of your own sour cherries around your home, there are some steps that you have to follow so as to achieve your goals without much hassle.
First you should select a good location which is well drained. The area should be well aerated and should be in a good position in relation to the sunlight reception. The tree should be planted in a hole that is about two times the size of the root ball and it should be about two feet deep. The borders of the hole should be roughed so as to allow the roots to penetrate through. Place the root ball in the hole and the stem graft about two inches above the actual soil line.
After placing the sour cherry tree in the hole, fill it halfway with soil and pour some water to eliminate any air pocket. Fill the other half with solids and pack it gently into place. You can fertilize the tree with a recommended fertilizer but preferably a slow release fertilizer. Do not forget to water your cherry tree during dry seasons. Water the tree to a 3 inch depth. Cherry trees prefer moist soil but will not stand soggy soils.
After you have grown your sour cherries and they are ready to harvest you will probably encounter the most common problem, storage. Cherries have a history of going bad very fast after they are harvested. This is usually not a problem to people who purchase the cherries because they buy just enough for their consumption at that particular time. On the other hand if you have planted sour cherry trees, there will be a lot of cherries and you should find a way to store the cherries so that they will last a bit longer.
Sour cherries are usually meant for cooking but can be stored and eaten in simple syrup. You should clean and rinse all the cherries and put them in a bowl. Ensure that you select fruits that are firm but not hard, and those with a good color. Do away with any overripe or bruised cherries.
Remove all the stems and make a slit on each fruit. Use a sharp knife to dig out the pit through the slit. Place the cherries in a bowl, rinse then dry them. Make a simple syrup by mixing one part of sugar with two parts of water. Heat the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves. Pour the syrup on the cherries and put in an air tight container then store it in the coolest area in the freezer.
Of course there are many ways to preserve cherries for later use. Sour cherries are great for a variety of desserts so you want to keep all you can around for use when they are not in season.
Sour cherries are reknown for their cherry health benefits. If you would like more information on cherries in general our website has a vast amount of articles about them as well as some great recipes.