The idea behind National Cherry Day on 16th July is to raise awareness of the plight of British cherries and encourage consumers to buy fruit grown here. When choosing this juicy fruit in the supermarket, check the packet to make sure you’re supporting British farmers, or better still, get your cherries from a local farm or farmers’ market.
It’s no wonder these pretty fruits are reproduced in fabric patterns and in decoration. Jewel-like globes dangling in twos from their stems, they are as much a feast for the eyes as the palate. They’re renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties too; in fact, research has shown that drinking cherry juice daily can help in cases of arthritis. Insomniacs might also like to try cherry therapy as the fruits contain high levels of melatonin which helps us sleep. In addition, cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin, which may work together synergistically to fight cancer. And they taste amazing!
Make the most of cherry season by trying some of these recipes, including cherry jam and chutney recipes that enable you to enjoy the taste throughout the year:
Warm Cherry Soup (BBC Good Food)
Is it a starter or is it a pudding? In Eastern Europe, cherry soup is traditionally served at the beginning of a meal, but this would also make a great dessert.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies with Cherry Chocolate Sauce (BBC Ready Steady Cook)
Cherries and chocolate are a classic combination – think chocolate gateau. This brownie recipe makes good use of the combination.
Individual Cherry/Blueberry Trifles (Eating Well)
These quick and easy no-bake trifles make a luxurious weekend breakfast as they’re made with Greek yoghurt, or a no-fuss dessert for an impromptu gathering.
Fresh Cherry Cake with a hint of cinnamon (BBC Good Food)
Decadent and perfect for a summer picnic, this cake harnesses the taste and colour of cherries.
Cherry, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad (Delish.com)
Proving just how versatile cherries can be, this salad packs a punch with toasted pecans, goats’ cheese and sweet cherries.
Cherry Sorbet (Delish.com)
This gloriously coloured sorbet is a perfect refreshing summer treat on its own, or is delicious served with whipped cream.
Cherry Jam (Allotment Garden Recipes)
Make the most of a glut of cherries by making your own jam. Before the advent of frozen and tinned foods, people used to preserve fruit in jams, chutneys and jellies to enjoy the lively tastes of fruits during the dark months of winter.
Cherry Chutney (About.com)
Because of its tart taste, cherry chutney pairs well with stronger flavoured cheeses. Enjoy your cherries all year round with this recipe.