Having just come back from a trip to Michigan, I am all about the cherries right now. Sweet cherries, tart cherries, dried cherries, juiced cherries, Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies,…. basically any form I can get cherries in, is good for me. In my opinion, cherries are my favorite part of summer. Besides of course, being tan and bronzed. That’s pretty awesome too.
I headed out to Michigan a few weeks ago and set up shop in Traverse City with the Cherry Marketing Institute. I was there, along with a few other bloggers, to learn all about tart cherries. Want to know a secret? I’d never had a tart cherry until this trip! GASP. What on earth was I thinking? I’ve had plenty sweet cherries in my lifetime. I mean, I practically eat my weight in Rainer cherries on an annual basis. I can’t get enough. I was excited to finally get to try a fresh tart cherry and turns out, I’m totally obsessed.
We toured a few cherry orchards and picked Montmorency and Balaton cherries. They were drop dead gorgeous, bright red in color, slightly tart but not sour, and literally so tasty. Plus they are picked in the coolest way ever. Because these cherries aren’t really eaten fresh, they shake them off the trees and then transport them to their respective homes where they will get turned into dried cherries, pies, jams, BBQ sauces, etc. I made ya a video in case you wanted to check it out, which you should, because it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
Getting fresh tart cherries in your local markets might be tough. After learning all there is to know about tart cherries, it boils down to the fact that in their freshly picked state, tart cherries are super tough to ship. But not to fear, there are some really amazing people that dry tart cherries and then you can get them basically all over the place! And they make for the most excellent Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies!
Tart cherries are also crazy good for you. I’m not a nutritionist so I’m just going to point you in the right direction so you can read about all the fab health benefits that come with eating tart cherries. And because tart cherries are so good for you, that means you get to eat double of these Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies and not really worry about it.
A big giant thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute, everyone in Traverse City who helped educate us during out stay and Weber Shandwick (in particular Caitlin Solway) for making this trip extra special and amazing. I want to pick up my bags and move to Traverse City and live there for during the summer. I’m packing my bags before winter hits – word on the street is that it gets cold!
Stay tuned for more tart cherry recipes as they’ll be popping up in the next few weeks!