Local Cherries: The Most Nutritious and Delicious
The Most Nutritious and Delicious
“Are Andy’s cherries in yet?”
This is a question we’ve been answering for the last week, and we’re excited to tell you that they’re in and they’re fantastic! Those of you who have shopped with us for years know that cherries from Morgan Hill farmer Andy Mariani are some of the best, biggest, sweetest and juiciest around. You just can’t get a better cherry than one that is grown locally.
A committed and passionate farmer, Mariani insists on growing only the most flavorful fruit on his 30 acres. We’ve partnered with Andy’s Orchard for more than 30 years, and because of our long-standing relationship we are able to get the cream of his crop.
As a member of a long-time fruit ranching family, Mariani, who is also educated in both horticultural and behavioral sciences, is a well-known fruit expert. He is referred to as a “3 Star Fruit Grower” by Gourmet Magazine, and is recognized as being an authority on stone fruits, from the newest hybrids to the old-fashioned heirlooms.
Rainiers and Bings
Andy’s Orchard Bings and Rainiers are so gorgeous they stop people in their tracks. The straight-from-the-farm Rainiers we have been getting in are some of the most beautiful Rainiers I’ve seen yet. Rainiers are a yellow-based cherry that are blush with a red tint, which indicates their sugar content, and these Rainiers are so sweetthey’re nearly solid red! In the words of my Uncle Carmelo, they’re”absolutely off the hook!”
Mariani’s Bings have a deep burgundy color that runs all the way through to the pit. The cherries this year have excellent size – even rivaling that of a ping pong ball. Both the Bings and Rainiers from Andy’s orchard generate more excitement year after year than almost any other produce item we carry in early June. Mariani’s cherries truly are unmatchable.
Due to the smaller size of Andy’s Orchard, Mariani is able to run Andy’s Orchard operations in a way that benefits the consistent quality of his fruit. For example, the cherries are harvested daily in small batches to limit the need for refrigeration, which can dull the flavor of some stone fruits.
Harvest at Andy’s Orchard starts only when the fruit has reached maximum ripeness. As a result, the just-picked, perfectly ripe cherries are almost bursting at the seams with juice, so Andy devised his own picking and packing process to protect against bruising during transit.
Cherries are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and contain anti-inflamatory properties. Eating cherries promotes overall health and are known to alleviate arthritic pain and gout.
Bringing you the absolute best
It’s rewarding for Mariani and us to see smiles on your faces as you enjoy his cherries. We’ll only be able to carry these local gems for about 2-3 weeks due to their short season, so be sure you come in while they’re as fresh and local as you can get. Bings are available for $5.99 lb. and Rainiers for $6.99 lb.