[NAFEX] late harvested sour cherries

Mark Lee markl at nytec.com
Mon Aug 23 11:56:39 EDT 2004

This year, I have been able to taste the changes in Montmorency cherries
when left to hang for weeks after the normal harvest time.  Normally,
robins and starlings will strip the tree in July.  This year the birds
did not show up.  It has been much warmer than normal, so maybe the
birds are hanging out closer to the mountains or maybe farther north
where they can stay cool.  Montmorency cherries, during the normal
harvest time in July, are very sour and they are a hot sports car red
color.  After hanging 3 weeks or more after the normal harvest date, the
cherries turn a translucent purplish red.  The extreme tartness almost
completely mellowed-out.  There is a little sweetness and lots of
slightly fruity, watery juice.  When left to over-ripen, Montmorency
cheeries make an OK fresh eating cherry.  I wouldn't hold a whole crop
on the tree, especially if the birds come back, but leaving a few
branches for a late harvest in August provides a fresh-eating cherry
crop long after the normal sweet cherries are done.

-Mark Lee, Seattle, zone 8a


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