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Had my first good cherries of the season yesterday: Organic Rainiers from Lone Oak Ranch at the Thursday Berkeley Farmers' Market. Firm and juicy, with a nice touch of acid. A couple of them were bruised, but all in all they were excellent for the time of year. They were $6/basket. Can't wait until Frog Hollow starts getting them.

Any other cherry sightings?

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Driving by Olson's in Sunnyvale this week, there's a big banner saying ripe cherries will be available, I thought, May 1. Yet the website says May 5/6.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Olson sells more than their own cherries. It is probably just early-season cherries they are buying from other farms. It would be surprising if they were their own bing cherries.

        That was the most surprising things about Morton's report. Not that there were cherries this early ... but that Rainiers were available this early. One good cherry season for the first time in years would be nice.

        Berkley Bowl is selling an early variety I've never seen before - Royal Kay ... $5.89lb loose ... $3.99 bagged.

        They are the early season variety with not alot of flavor or crunch.

        The Bowl was selling some excellent green almonds though for $1.69. Those were the best green almonds I've ever tried.

        They also had lovely little cherry-sized green sour plums for $2.89. I remembered something about them from Chowhound, so I bought some and now I need to search around (sigh) and find out how to eat these.

        It finally feels like spring is here.

        1. re: rworange

          what do you do with the green almonds? I tried to just eat some straight once and thought they tasted terrible. Are they just for cooking?

          1. re: chemchef

            Green almonds are traditionally eaten as as snack, often either dipped in salt or brined first. When they're very young you can eat the whole thing, as they get older you need to shell them. If they tasted terrible they might have been too old.

    2. Last Saturday at the Berkeley Farmer's market Trinin from Riverdog handed me a few of hers to try. Pretty sweet/tart and delicious

      1. Last Saturday Terra Firma had some baskets. 5$/basket.
        More to come from everyone very soon.

        1. The cherry stands down around Morgan Hill/Gilroy area on 101 aren't open yet (or at least weren't as of Friday when I drove by...)

          1. I tasted a few yesterday at the farmers market, too early for me. They'll be riper and cheaper in two or three weeks.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I was unimpressed with Terra Firma's - too soft and sweet. The ones on Thursday are much better.

            2. Hamada has some at the Ferry Building this morning, but the one I tasted didn't have much flavor yet. Pretty, but not too tasty.

              1. CJ Olson's is having their Cherry Festival this weekend. I bought some of their local cherries "from across the street" at their stand yesterday, and they're delicious!

                1. OK ... scoff at me ... but Albertson's is having a cherry sale this week ... $1.49 lb.

                  At San Pablo they are good, if not amazing ... firm and decent flavor. I use these mainly to brandy for the winter. One year Safeway had a similar sale and in rainy December they were lovely and not noticeably different from my pricy CJ Olsen cherriies after being soaked in brandy for months.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: rworange

                    By the way, what brandy do you use for those? I was thinking of them today.

                    1. re: wally

                      E & J when it is on sale. I went upscale and to me it didn't make a difference. Didn't like Christian Brothers as much.

                    2. re: rworange

                      The market at 25th & Irving has cherries for 79 cents/lb. No blems or rotten ones.

                      1. re: baron45

                        Yeah, those little groceries can have hidden gems.

                        I was talking to Debra Olsen of C.J. Olsen cherries one year and she said that there was a year when the Sunnyvale crop was late and the Washington cherry crop was early. They couldn't sell all thier cherries so they sold to the little Asian groceries in Chinatown. Those lovely, expensive cherries were available for rock bottom prices.

                        Doesn't happen always, but doesn't hurt to try a cherry and see how it tastes.

                        1. re: rworange

                          a co-worker brought back some cherries to the office that she picked up at one of the groceries in Oakland Chinatown; she said she paid $1.00 a pound (and dumb me, I forgot to ask which grocery). They were without question the best cherries I had this season: she offered me one, took a bite, and could just say, wow'!

                          This was just Thursday, so I suppose it might be worth checking a few places for the next week or so...

                          I got some at Alemeny yesterday that were good, but not as good (and more expensive), and the guy said it was probably the last week for them.

                          1. re: susancinsf

                            I got some very sweet black cherries at Alemany yesterday at the stand at the end with the dried fruit, next to the apples. Can't remember what I paid, but it wasn't much ($2/pound?)

                    3. There's been an organic farmer's market on the Davis campus every Wednesday for the past couple of months and unfortunately, I never got to buy anything because I didn't want to be carrying groceries to all of my classes and they were usually sold out of everything by the time I would get there. Long story short, last week, I go to drop off a paper and there are free cherries in the lounge. I take a bag. They were the most delicious cherries I have ever eaten - crisp, dark, and just perfect. AND, I can't figure out which farm they came from. Does anyone know?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: adrienne156

                        www.andysorchard.com - Although their cherry harvest season has ended, give them a call they might still have some available.

                          1. re: adrienne156

                            Ack hold on, those cherries you had up in Davis probably weren't from Andy's, I replied to the wrong post! But Andy's does have outstanding cherries, certainly they'll be as good as the ones you had at Davis. :)

                            1. re: Bunson

                              No worries. The signs for cherries have come down and the few times I did venture off the 80 to look, I got terribly lost. It'll just have to wait til next year.