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Apr 10, 2008 02:04 PM

(SEA) Balaton cherries?

I did some web searches and apparently these only grow in Michigan state, though horticultural info indicates that they can be grown in the upper third latitudes of the U.S.

Anyone ever see these fresh? Or even frozen or in jars?

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  1. The Balaton cherry variety was introduced into the US in 1984 by Michigan State University, where it had been tested for Michigan, Utah, and Wisconsin. Time will tell if WSU will get it over here. Can you say anything about that cherry, so we can all drool with anticipation?

    1. You're right, Mrnelso, one should give a little when taking a little. The cherry is a variety that is famous in the Lake Balaton region of Hungary, wherefrom my parents emigrated. It is a tart cherry, an absolute must for Hideg Meggyleves, a cream-based cold cherry soup which I grew up on. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, and a popular tourist destination.

      Recipe for the soup here:
      The 'Balaton cherry authority':

      4 Replies
      1. re: Lets_eat

        Thank you. Do you think I could make this soup with Montmorency cherries? or is the flavor of Balaton importantly different?

        1. re: mrnelso

          Hmm, dunno...never tried it. I've made a decent version with Morello cherries from a jar, but there's nothing like using the fresh fruit. FYI there's also a 'tipsy' version of the soup using red wine; I'll shoot you the recipe if you're interested.

          1. re: Lets_eat

            Yes, please
            Shall I put an email address out here? or will you post it for me?
            thank you

            1. re: Lets_eat

              Please post any recipes on the Home Cooking board, so that all hounds can benefit from them. You are welcome to post a "heads up" here with a link to that thread.

              Thank you.

          1. I have used them frozen and they are about halfway between a traditional sour cherry such as Montmorency and a sweet cherry like a Bing in terms of sweetness. They have the flavor of a sour cherry but aren't so "puckery" that you can't enjoy them without sugar. When cooking with them, you would probably need to use half the amount of sugar called for in a sour cherry recipe. I ordered about 20 pounds (frozen) from a farm in Michigan 2 years ago and they lasted about a year. Darker red and a little bigger than Montmorency.