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English Cherries

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted 10 August 2010 11:11

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown

English Cherries

Cherries are at their peek in July, but still a tremendous find in August. One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour and gorgeous good looks. The juicy flesh can be sweet or sour, depending on which of the hundreds of varieties they are. Cherries are divided into three groups: sweet, sour and hybrids.

As a general rule, pale cherries are sweet and dark cherries more acidic. But, it is always a good idea to try before you buy to get the flavour that you prefer.

I adore cherries, I just can’t resist pinching a few from the fruit bowl each time I pass by, so they very rarely long enough to find their way into any cooking or baking, happen if I had a cherry tree I might manage to save a few for other things.

I either get cherries sent in my fruit & veg box, or I buy them at a local green grocer, or should I be lucky enough to find one, at a farmers market. I refuse to buy ones air-freighted half way around the world.

In the UK, during the last 50 years we’ve lost 90% of our Cherry orchards and now import around 95% of the cherries we eat. Shocking but true.

Keep traditional tastes alive. Buying locally supports regional food and wine culture, contributes towards maintaining traditional and sustainable growing methods, and reconnects you, the consumer, with its source! So, buying locally can also contribute towards saving our food heritage for future generations.
Shopping at a farm, local produce shop or Farmers’ Market means that you can talk to the producer and find out how the food is grown, raised or produced and when it was picked.

And another important point, buying fresh local produce is good for you! Food that hasn’t travelled for great distances will have retained more of its vitamins and minerals. Quality and availability varies throughout the year, so why not eat more locally and seasonally?

There are plenty of other reasons for buying fresh produce locally and to support local producers and businesses:

  • Buying local produce cuts down on ‘food miles’ . That is the distance the food travels to get to you. The average item on the supermarket shelf travels over 1000 miles. This increases the use of fossil fuels and adds to global warning.
  • Direct contact between you and the producer in many cases, allowing you to find out first hand how your goods have been produced.
  • Farmers markets provide a regular and secure outlet for producers in and around your local area.
  • Stimulation of local economic development by increasing employment and encouraging consumers to support local business.

English Cherries

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