What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day!
In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Rainier cherry by cross-breeding the Bing and Van cherry varieties.
Rainier cherries are large in size, so it’s quite appropriate that they were named after Washington’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier.
The season for Rainiers is short. They grow in Washington from June thru August.
I love these cherries. They have a low acidity level, are higher in sugar than Dark Sweet cherries, and are yellow, with a tinge of red.
Why are Rainiers pricier than the Dark Sweet cherries? Growers must take extra pains to ensure the fruit does not go to the birds. They cover the trees in nets and plant them between red cherry trees to encourage the bees to pollinate the blossoms. Besides hand-picking the fruit, the harvesters place the cherries into small bags to avoid bruising. Every necessary precaution is taken, so the cherries arrive in the market in perfect and delicious condition.
If you enjoy cherries, these are so worth it!
There are a number of health benefits that accompany their deliciousness.
- They are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke
- Rainier cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins, which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-obese properties
- Good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and fiber
- They promote healthy sleeping patterns through their melatonin content
In honor of this holiday, a top-notch chef from an iconic restaurant in each of the 50 states will be presenting their guests with a menu item centered on Northwest cherries. In Indiana, the winner is Recess on College Avenue in Indianapolis. If you’re nearby, you may want to check it out.
I plan to celebrate by simply eating them.
Cheers to cherries,
P.S. While many are enjoying the lazy days of summer, perhaps life for you is not a bowl of cherries. If you’re feeling stressed, out of shape, or facing health challenges, I’m here to help you sort it out. Email me and we’ll set up a call. It’s my summer gift to you in our wabi-sabi life.
“The notion is called wabi-sabi life, like the cherry blossom, it is beautiful because of its impermanence, not in spite of it, more exquisite for the inevitability of loss.”— Peggy Orenstein