Look, we all love sweet cherries, those bursting black/red American hearts that speak of July, fireworks, and endless summers. We love driving from the farm stand, munching, and spitting the pits out the window.
Let’s be honest: sometimes, they don’t even make it home. But no matter what, the flavor of sweet cherries is evanescent—once they’re gone, it’s gone. Why? Because those sweet July cherries are best served raw: their flavor does not stand up to heat.
But sours, oh! The high acidity that makes them so unappealing to grabby hands is exactly what makes them precious to cooks—it’s their acidity that carries the subtle flavor of July cherries through the rigors of baking and boiling. And it’s what makes it possible to enjoy the flavor of July cherries in winter, spread on toast in a preserve.
And, sure, you always can work with those tart, orangey American sour cherries, but those are best eaten in pies. (Samascott Orchard sells these year round, picked in season on their Kinderhook orchard, not only frozen but pitted.) BUT, if you crave something darker, more adult, more alluring, get in the queue at Fix Bros. Fruit Farm to pick the ne plus ultra of cherries, the Black Sours.
Yes, there will be a line of cars at 6am. Yes, they will come from far and wide. Yes, Brad will tell you where to park. Yes, cherry picking is a competitive sport. If you’ve never made your own cocktail cherries, if you’ve never tried Cherry Varenya, if you’ve never bottled up your own cherry liqueur, or baked a leaf lard cherry pie with these complex, deeply flavorful, and impossible-to-find black sours, it’s your year.
For more information on Black Sour Cherry day, get on Fix Bros Fruit Farm’s email list. Pick your own Black Sour Cherries (English Morello) will begin on Thursday, July 14th. Orchard hours will be 7-5, or until they are all picked out.