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Where to find sour cherries (not canned)?

I live in the Los Angeles area, so I imagine if it can be found it should be possible here... I am looking for sour cherries to make a pie. I do not want canned cherries.

Would sour cherries from a jar or frozen cherries be a better option? And can anyone suggest where I might find them? tia for any help.

The only frozen cherries I have found at my grocery store are sweet.

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  1. I'd suggest trying another grocery store--I've found bags of sour pie cherries in the freezer case at several stores in Seattle. Up here they're from a local company (Remlinger Farms), but I can't imagine it's that exotic of a product in a major city like L.A.

    1 Reply
    1. Or make a day of it and go to one of the "pick your own" places in "Cherry Valley". Get enough to freeze for next year.

      5 Replies
      1. re: torty

        pick your own! where is this? awesome!

        1. re: rachaels

          Check this website. http://www.cherriesupic.com/ It in Leona Valley which is about 45 minutes away from Santa Clarita.

          I'd call anywhere before you show up Unfortunately, there was a frost in April and alot of growers lost alot of their crop. We had to make specific reservations to pick.

          1. re: LisaN

            Wow! That sounds like a lot of fun. I'm going to look into that. Great suggestion, thanks.

            1. re: sugarcanejane

              I went yesterday. The cherries were very large, but the farm I went to did not have many, they lost 70% of their crop. They are very delicious and were $3 a pound. I went to Northside, which is invitation only.

              Call before you head up, if other farms lost alot of the crop, there may not be any left after all the picking yesterday.

              1. re: LisaN

                And they're mostly sweet Bing cherries, not sour as OP wanted.

      2. Farmers markets are usually the best source. Ask any cherry vendors if they have any. Usually they are limited, so if a farmer has them they either save them for people who request them or they sell out fast. You should post on the LA board to ask where to find them in that city.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          you will have plenty of time to check it out, because they aren`t ready to pick yet,
          I was over at my sister two days ago and she has three trees of them and hers is
          still green. you might advertise in the la paper if some one has a tree in there yard.

        2. Sour cherries are so amazing. For a few months I lived in a cottage in Chile with a sour cherry tree in the backyard and I made the most divine treats with those cherries. If you find some and you cook Asian food, try making your own "duck sauce" with the cherries. I did this and it was the best dipping sauce I've ever had - the cherries are just perfect. I made samosas and dunked them into my sour cherry duck sauce. Mmmmm.

          1. i recently bought a jar of sour cherries at Trader Joe's. they were good but nothing to rave about. i agree with the suggestion of others.... fresh picked sour cherries are definitely the way to go.

            1. all middle eastern markets carry them fresh for about 3 weeks a year, that's it. that time should be coming up.

              they have canned year round, which they use to make one rice dish

              1. There were several vendors at both the South Pas and Pasadena farmer's markets last week who had what looked to be nice ripe sour cherries - I assume you're looking for Queen Anne or equivalent? Didn't check prices.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  queen annes are sweet cherries, though they do have a good tart bite (as do all good cherries). sour cherries are like the montmorency. they take more chill hours than are commonly available in california. most of them are grown in michigan. furthermore, they tend to be fragile and don't ship well.

                  some farmers market farmers will have a few trees of sours. and i have seen them at middle eastern markets. you can also do a pretty good approximation by adding a dash of inexpensive balsamic vinegar to a cooked cherry dish--just the way you might use almond extract to "beef up" less-than-extraordinary peaches.

                  1. re: FED

                    Question: If a sweet cherry tastes uncommonly tart (like the ones I have been getting for 2.99/lb at Vons) can you substitute for the real sour cherry variety in recipes?

                    I am not sure I understand the qualitative difference between the two....

                    1. re: Densible

                      Almost any Persian Market!!! call 818-908-0808 that is the Persian information and ask them for the nearest Persian market to you ;)

                      Good Luck!!!!!!!... I love those sour cherries...

                      1. re: Densible

                        No. The variety is different.

                        Circle C will likely have fresh sour cherries at the Farmer's Markets a little later this summer. $9/lb and they sell out fast. Another vendor had a few cherries labeled "sour" but they didn't have the same complexity as the Circle C ones.

                        The bottled cherries at TJs are the best substitute I've found.

                      2. re: FED

                        Okay - I grew up with a tree full of Queen Annes next door. They were always referred to as "pie cherries," as opposed to the Bings, which mostly came from Michigan back then, and which were routinely dismissed as Blah and Too Sweet. I remember practically having to wrestle the robins to pick my share...

                        I guess I really am not aware of how many varieties there are, or degrees of tartness and sweetness.

                    2. Pardon the interruption, but we've moved a request for sour cherry recipes to the Home Cooking Board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407052

                      Please post any recipes there.


                      1. I've found decent bottled cherries at Jons Markets and (believe it or not) the 99 Cent store.
                        They are OK for my use in Middle Eastern savory dishes but I'd be leery of using them in a pie.

                        1. I just bought some fresh sour cherries from Jordan Market in Westwood. You can fill a plastic bag with as much as you want ($6/lb) or buy a plastic container of them. They were pretty good.

                          Jordan Market
                          1449 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024