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Another Bite of the Cherry

February 28, 2015

Cherry season is over in Australia, but it’s never too late for a rave.

It’s been a bumper season and I’ve had fun with red Bing cherries and white Royal Rainier cherries – and for the first time coffee cherries from my own tree. I’ve also grown cherry tomatoes, but that’s not such a happy story.

I’ve eaten them fresh, macerated them, folded them into a semifreddo, made cherry granita and added them to drinks.

I bought a heap of Royal Rainier cherries at Christmas and preserved them. They have an early, short season and I’m still enjoying the last jar, adding the cherries on top of gelato, sweetened ricotta or into a refreshing drink called a Cherry Muddler. I altered this Spiced Brandied Cherries recipe to half Brandy/half Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur to Italianise it and swapped the Bings for the Rainiers. One suggestion – buy a good cherry pipper. It saves all that hand-to-mouth business and the odd cracked tooth.

This is not the best photo of a jar of preserved cherries. 

Preserved White Cherries

So here’s something better.

Redheads in Jar

I snapped this odd display in a Sydney CBD optometrist’s window and have been dying to use it ever since. Strangely appealing I think.

Italy loves its preserved cherries. The Fabbri brand, founded in 1905 near Bologna as a distillery and still family-owned, is going strong selling its Amarena cherries in syrup (in the unmistakeable blue and white ceramic jars) world-wide.

The use of cherries on household furnishings and dress fabrics was popular years ago, but not so much these days. If you’re my vintage you probably had a frock or blouse with cherries on it. Unless you’re a male. Here’s proof that Christmas is cherry celebration time: a lovely dress made by my mother with cherries on the bodice. Hands off, Santa!AmbraXmas

It’s the last day of summer, and I’m hot and plan to cool off with this Cherry Muddler. So should you.

Cherry Muddler

You might also like this Maraschino Cherries recipe and blog post from the archives. 

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14 comments

  1. My mother-in-law loved cherries – she ate the cordials which are chocolate covered Maraschino cherries. Now my mamma and papa liked this on the amaro side. They would always pour a sweeter homemade wine over strawberries, cherries, peaches etc. When fresh cherries are in season here, my Hubby and I can’t get enough of them. We’ll have to try to preserve them. I like your idea of a pitter — I’ll have to look into it. Send us some of your warm weather, please????
    Alla prossima!


    • Yes, give preserving a try Marisa. It’s so handy to have a jar or two stored away and to be able to just drop a few cherries on a sweet treat for added zing!


  2. I am with Marisa on not getting enough cherries here when they are in season. The season is short but will be here in a few months. Just having them to eat is good enough. Your ideas for preserving are something to think about.
    I have a pitter and it works really well. It is so interesting and fun to read bloggers from Australia, who have the opposite seasons from the US. Winter is coming to an end here, so I am happy about that.


    • It’s interesting writing about food on blogs. You have to take into consideration the difference in seasons with readers and that while we’re sweltering here in Australia and drinking icy cold beverages, folks like you are eating and drinking hot, warming meals. Oh well. And may the God of Cherries be kind to you this summer season!


  3. Love the heads in the jar!


    • I should have asked the business owner for the significance, I think. Maybe I was too scared of the answer?


  4. Wow, I had no idea what had been done to those bright read Maraschino cherries til I read your other post. That is terrifying.


    • Yes, it is terrifying. I often wondered how they were so uniformly bright red and perfect. Yikes.


  5. (typo ‘red’ not ‘read’, obviously. I think that was Freudian!)


  6. Love the Barbie head photo, creepy and interesting all at the same time! My neighbours where I grew up had a cherry tree. The branches used to hang over into my family’s yard. I figured those cherries were pretty much ours. They are so good fresh. I miss that tree.


    • How lucky to have a cherry tree next door. It’s better to have eaten and lost …


  7. Mmmm, that drink loos so good! Especially as it’s still winter here 😦 I found your blog on blog party, and I’m glad I did!


    • Thanks, it’s a great drink. I’m heading over to your blog too. cheers



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