Where did cherries originate?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “where did cherries originate?”. We will discuss how it is cultivated and harvested and also the importance of cherry in our daily life.

Where did cherries originate?

Cherries mainly originated from trees that are native to Turkey or, more generally, the area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Cerasus, a town in Turkey, is where the name cherry comes from. Turkey is still the world’s leading cherry producer. The Greeks were the first to domesticate and cultivate it. And the production grew even more under the Romans. 

The English colonists who brought cherries to the United States in 1629 were followed by the Spanish missionaries who brought the fruit to California in the early 1700s. During the early 1800s, fur and pioneer traders moved sweet cherries west to their major production areas in Washington, California, and Oregon. 

After Washington, California is now the nation’s second-largest producer. In California, the harvest season begins in the middle of April and lasts until the first half of June. 

How are cherries cultivated and harvested?

A rootstock is grafted onto commercial cherries and they are planted in rows in orchards. About 100 trees are typically planted on each acre by farmers. Since cherry trees are unable to pollinate themselves, a 9:1 ratio of different cherry varieties need to be situated in each orchard to ensure a successful harvest. 

Pollination is important for production. The primary pollinator is honey bees. When an orchard is first cultivated, it takes about six years before it yields its first significant crop. The pedicels, or stems, of California cherries, are hand-harvested and left intact for the fresh market. They’re harvested when firm-mature and the color change indicates readiness.

As the cherries approach harvest, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of rain. As a result, the quantity of each year’s crop in California’s growing regions can vary based on the spring weather.

In order to prolong their shelf life and prevent bruising, fresh cherries must be handled with extreme care. cherries are immediately chilled using chilled water in a process known as hydro cooling as soon as they are harvested from the trees. To ship them around the world, they are grouped by color and size and packed into boxes.

It’s possible to find sweet, dark brown-red cherries as well as tart, bright red ones. Prunus avium, the sweet cherry, and Prunus cerasus, the sour cherry (also known as the pie or tart cherry by growers), are the most common. Compared to sweet cherries, sour cherries are lower in sugar and higher in acid. 

For those who don’t mind the tartness of the fruit, it’s no surprise that they’re less caloric than their sweet counterparts. In addition to being rich in vitamin C, cherries are also a good source of carbohydrates, water, and a small number of other nutrients such as vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Why are cherries so important?

In addition to the fruit, cherry trees produce a variety of other goods. Spring isn’t complete without the delightful, aromatic cherry blossoms, and in places like Washington, DC, and Door County, Wisconsin, they serve as a major tourist attraction. In addition, the tree’s medicinal parts have been used for a long time.

Cherry trees have poisonous cyanogenic glycosides in their leaves, bark, and seeds that can be fatal to humans and animals alike. Teas made from the leaves are used by many cultures to treat respiratory ailments such as the common cold and cough. 

Cherry stalk tea has been used in patients with kidney disease. The cherry has long been associated with virginity, both in ancient times and in the modern era. The cherry tree that offered fruit and comfort to Maya, Buddha’s virgin mother, while she was pregnant, may have something to do with the red fruit that surrounds the small seed.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of sweet cherries are superior to those of their tart counterparts. 

They have a significantly higher concentration of the anthocyanin phytonutrients, which are responsible for the cherries’ characteristic deep red coloration. There is evidence that this compound lowers one’s chances of developing heart disease, cancer, and plaque formation.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question “where did cherries originate?”.We have also discussed how it is cultivated and harvested and also the importance of cherries in our daily life.

Reference

https://calcherry.com/facts/

https://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/cherry

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.