Types of Cherries

The sweet cherries that become Maraschinos come from several different varieties. Let’s take a closer look at the different cherry types that our Growers work so hard to bring to you:

Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries are yellow inside and out, with just a bit of red blush on them, and exceptionally large. They are quite sweet and very firm. The Rainier cherry was developed in 1952 at Washington State University by Harold Fogle, and named after Mount Rainier. It is a cross between the Bing and Van cultivars.

Royal Ann Cherry

The Royal Ann or Royal Anne (also called Napoleon and Queen Anne), a long-time favorite yellow sweet cherry, is similar in appearance and taste to the Rainier cherry. It is both eaten fresh and used in making pies and Maraschino cherries.

Van Cherries

The Van cherry is a very hardy, deep ruby red fruit and resembles Bing cherries, though usually smaller, firmer, blockier, and shorter-stemmed. The Van cherry tree is vigorous and a prolific bearer of high quality sweet cherries and produces magnificent cherry blossoms in spring.

Gold Cherries

Gold cherry trees are very good producers of fruit, which is very firm and golden yellow in color. The trees themselves are well adapted to mechanical harvesting.

Bing Cherries

Bing cherries are the leading commercial sweet cherry. They are firm, juicy, large, and a deep mahogany red when ripe. They have a distinctive heart shape. Bings are intensely sweet, with a vibrant flavor.

Lambert Cherries

Lambert cherries are large and firm with an even dark red color throughout. They are sweet enough to eat out of hand, but keep a good texture when cooked. They have a nice long season that runs from mid-June to early August.

Maraschino Cherries

These are fresh, sweet cherries that have been processed and packed in a high fructose syrup. They are available in red (Red #40) and green (Yellow #5 and blue #); custom colors and flavors are available. The product is preserved with 1/10th of 1 percent potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

Maraschino cherries are available whole (with or without stems), as halves and crushed (triple diced through a 3/8 inch dicer or ground through a 1/4 inch screen). Sizes range from medium (18/20 mm) to Super Colossal (26mm and over). They are packed in glass jars with metal caps; plastic jars with plastic caps with a hermetically sealed inner liner; white plastic 5-gallon pails with gasket sealed lids; and 55-gallon steel drums lined with two poly bags. Shelf life varies, depending on packaging. Glass packs have a shelf life of three years, when pasteurized. Maraschino cherries, with a Brix level of 38° to 42°, are a signature garnish and ingredient in drinks, baked goods, confectionery products, ice cream and other dairy products.

Maraschinos are a tasty and beautiful candied treat, so enjoy!

Research shows kids love Maraschino cherries. When asked, “Which is better, one Maraschino or two?” Two was the hands-down winner. When given the opportunity to add their own Maraschinos to foods and drinks, the average number of Maraschinos per kid per item: 3.5. The more, the cherrier. After all, there’s no fat, no sodium and only 10 calories in each Maraschino cherry!

Glacé Cherries

These are Maraschino cherries that have been further processed and sweetened. Glacé cherries are available in red (Red #40) and green (Yellow #5 and Blue #1); no added flavors. the product is available as whole cherries, halves or broken pieces. Shelf life when stored under recommended conditions is one year. Glacé cherries, with a Brix level of 73° to 78°, are used in fruitcakes, breads and other baked goods.