Pick the Sweet Ones
Plump, dark red cherries with tight, glossy, unblemished skin will be the tastiest.
Prevent Over Ripening
Store them unwashed in the fridge in their original breathable packaging (perforated plastic bag or clamshell), or uncovered in a colander, and they'll keep for up to five days. They'll last longer if you buy them with the stem on.
Choose the Healthiest
Antioxidants called anthocyanins give cherries their crimson color -- the richer the hue, the better for you. Cherries have anti-inflammatory compounds that can relieve sore muscles and joint pain. They also contain a similar amount of the natural hormone melatonin (which helps you fall asleep easier and slumber longer) as supplements do.
Stir chopped into cornbread, muffin or cake batter for a sweet tart accent.
Perk it up by swapping pitted cherries for grapes and adding a dash of curry powder.
Puree, then shake with balsamic vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper for a zesty complement to meaty, main-dish salads.
Toss halved cherries with chopped celery, crumbled feta, lemon juice and brown rice and serve warm or cold.
Macerate chopped with fresh thyme and a pinch of salt; spoon over baked brie.
Simmer chopped with ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce; brush onto ribs. The tartness helps cut rich, fatty meats.
Stuffed Pork Chops
Toss sliced with toasted almond slivers and orange zest (brings out the brighter side of cherries); stuff into pork chops before cooking.