Today is National Cherry Day.
Cherries are a stone fruit from the genus Prunus, which includes plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and almonds. Pits from the cherries have been found in Stone Age caves in Europe and were enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans. Immigrants from Europe introduced cherries to the USA in the 1600s and commercial cherry production began in the mid 1800’s in the USA.
All around the world cherries are grown and the top ten countries producing cherries are Iran, the U.S.A., Turkey, Italy, Germany, Spain, Lebanon, Rumania, France and the Russian Federation.
Cherries are a great health food. Rich in vitamin C and B vitamins they are also a good source of fiber. Also rich in anti-oxidants many claim they help control inflammation and help with arthritis.
Michigan is the number one state producing tart cherries and approximately 94% of cherries consumed in the USA are grown in Michigan. The cherry trees began to bloom in May and this spring my husband and I drove to northern Michigan to enjoy the beautiful blossoms.
Cherry harvest time starts in mid-July and lasts through mid-August.
Every July Traverse City hosts a Cherry Festival which draws as much as 500,000 visitors from all around the world. This tradition began in 1925. President Herbert Hoover attended in 1929 and President Gerald Ford served as grand marshal of the parade in 1975.
It’s amazing the products offered by cherry producers.
So get out your cookbooks and made a delicious cherry pie in celebration of this great healthy fruit!