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Sour Cherries in SF

Mari Jun 27, 2007 10:00 PM

I found two recipes that require sour cherries, but the problem is finding them. According to a cherry stand at the Ferry Building FM, the sour cherries were gone 2 weeks ago. Has anyone seen them frozen at a store somewhere? I know I can probably get them on-line, but I would rather go to a store and buy them.

  1. Robert Lauriston Jul 27, 2007 09:49 AM

    The imported sour cherries you get frozen in Persian or Eastern European markets are the Morello (aka Amarena) variety. American tart / sour pie cherries currently in season are the Montmorency variety. Very different flavors.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      TopoTail Jul 29, 2007 12:45 PM

      When I was growing up in Detroit, we had a Montmorency tree in our back yard. We would freeze about 20 quarts every summer, and my mother would make cherry pies all year around.

      Inspired by this thread, I bought a couple of pounds of sour cherries at Berkeley Bowl on Friday and made a cherry pie yesterday, using the recipe from last month's Gourmet. Oh my god, what a treat. I cut down on the amount of sugar the recipe called for and was glad of it. Next time I'll go easy on the vanilla as well, but all in all it is a great pie.

      Takes me back to Michigan. Anybody out there ever get cherry pie at The Cherry Hut in Beulah, MI? I think it's still there, at least I've seen it referenced in one of the foodie magazines within the last 5 or so years.

    2. h
      hungryhyena Jul 26, 2007 09:41 PM

      I don't live in S.F. but if you find a persian or middle eastern restaurant they almost always have them frozen. The farsi word is albalu. My peeps use them a lot, it makes a grat rice dish with kabobs or chicken!

      1 Reply
      1. re: hungryhyena
        Mari Jul 26, 2007 10:26 PM

        Yes, I like a little of that cherry sauce with my kabobs and rice.

      2. m
        Maya Jul 26, 2007 06:59 PM

        You can get them frozen at the New World Market on Geary.

        1. Robert Lauriston Jul 25, 2007 02:01 PM

          They had them at the Bowl again on Monday.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Mari Jul 25, 2007 02:30 PM

            Thanks - I will be in the East Bay on Sunday, so I will stop by to see if there are still any left.

          2. y
            yogurtsoda Jul 25, 2007 01:39 PM

            Jasmine Market in San Rafael on 3rd street can special order them for you by the box if you call ahead. They're Persian sour cherries (albaloo) and though the box will probably give you far more cherries than you need, you can always freeze the extras and eat them later. I bought a 20 lb box last week for $90.

            1. JasmineG Jul 23, 2007 05:19 PM

              The produce market at Market Hall in Rockridge has had them this past week or so.

              1. Robert Lauriston Jul 23, 2007 05:17 PM

                Berkeley Bowl had fresh ones on Friday.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  wally Jul 26, 2007 04:56 PM

                  They still had some today (Thursday the 26th)

                  1. re: wally
                    Philip Jul 28, 2007 06:01 PM

                    I bought some from the Berkeley Bowl on Friday. $4.29 per pound (not organic at that price). These were loose cherries, not pre-packed.

                2. t
                  tigersmom Jul 23, 2007 04:52 PM

                  I just saw cans of sour cherries at Cal Mart on California street. They were about $4.25 per can.

                  1. u
                    uh ... art Jul 3, 2007 12:11 PM

                    Berkeley Bowl has their first sour cherries of the season today.
                    Dorsing Farms, from Washington. Pre-packed in 2lb sealed plastic
                    trays (no sampling) for $7.50 (ie, $3.75/lb).

                    They were pretty small but looked good. In the past, they've had them
                    for two to three weeks after July 4th.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: uh ... art
                      uh ... art Jun 19, 2009 09:16 PM

                      The Bowl (eastern) had what seem to be their first sour cherries of the 2009 season today. A smallish box of loose cherries, labeled "California", at $4.95/lb. I didn't sample.

                    2. n
                      Nancy Berry Jun 29, 2007 08:21 AM

                      I saw them frozen (in plastic tubs) at New World Market on Geary:

                      New World Market
                      5641 Geary Boulevard
                      (between 20th Ave & 21st Ave)
                      San Francisco, CA 94121
                      (415) 751-8810

                      Mon-Sat 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
                      Sun 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Nancy Berry
                        Robert Lauriston Jun 29, 2007 04:55 PM

                        American sour pie cherries or European morellos? The latter are great but have a pretty different flavor.

                        1. re: Nancy Berry
                          Mari Jul 5, 2007 02:36 PM

                          Good find - thank you.

                        2. d
                          doublewong Jun 28, 2007 07:34 PM

                          I went all the way down to LA for the first weekend of sour picking and they were out within a day.

                          1. u
                            uh ... art Jun 28, 2007 09:21 AM

                            I don't know about SF, but for the past few years the Berkeley Bowl hasn't started getting sour cherries until just after July 4th, and then for about 2 weeks. Has the season shifted?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: uh ... art
                              uh ... art Jun 28, 2007 11:50 AM

                              I talked to the Bowl produce guy this morning and he says their sour cherries have not come in yet. "Any day now," was as precise as he could be.

                              Last year's sour cherry ice cream was pretty great. This year I have bigger plans.

                              1. re: uh ... art
                                Mari Jun 28, 2007 12:05 PM

                                Thank you! Yes, I was told by the CUESA reps at the Ferry Building to go to the Lagier (or something like that) stand. When I asked the woman told me that they were no longer available.

                                1. re: Mari
                                  rworange Jun 29, 2007 04:40 PM

                                  Next year, try CJ Olsen in Sunnyvale. They have a limited run.

                            2. Carrie 218 Jun 28, 2007 08:44 AM

                              Haig's Deli on Clemente has them dried -- they are fabulous and moist but still have a pit. You could swell them with some liquid if you don't want them raisiny.

                              1. t
                                tigersmom Jun 28, 2007 08:25 AM

                                I also could not find sour cherries anywhere so I ended up ordering them on-line. Go to www-mi-cherries.com. the company is King Orchards. It cost me about $40.00 for a case. A little pricey I know, but it was more economical than buying them by the can. If you like making pie as much as I do, it is worth it. These cherries are packed in water and one can equals about 2 cups. I won a pie contest with these so the can't be all that bad!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tigersmom
                                  Mari Jun 28, 2007 12:05 PM

                                  Would you mind posting the pie recipe in Home Cooking??

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