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Jul 1, 2008 01:27 PM

Sour/Tart Cherries

Does anyone know where I can find fresh sour or tart cherries in Chicago or 'burbs? I have called several markets...but no luck.

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  1. Try the farmer's markets in a couple more weeks.
    Michigan tart cherries are available mid-July.
    Green city market in LP always has a few michigan growers.
    Or goo check out the crazy new casino in New Buffalo and stop at a fruit stand on the way back.

    1. I know---this is maddening since we live so near Michigan and can't buy the cherries in Chicago. I have seen them at the Division Street (Clark to State, Saturday 7-1) Farmers' Market in previous years; they should be there soon now, pricey but present. They are sold online, frozen, for considerable money---google "frozen cherries" and "Montmorency cherries" for sources. Trader Joe's once told me they would stock frozen Montmorency cherries if I could locate a supplier but I haven't pursued this.

      1. There were a few tart cherries (loads of sweet cherries) at the Lincoln Square farmers' market today. Some fruits have been going through optimum stage very fast this year. The Northstar sour cherry tree at my MIL's in the Montclare neighborhood was rapidly going to over ripe by Monday. Northstar is a little earlier than Montmorency, which is the most common tart cherry. Balaton, a morello type, cherries are being grown more in Michigan and are a little later and a lot darker in color than the Montmorency. If you see some deep red tart cherries, grab some as they have more intense and fuller flavor than Montmorency.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eldon Kreider

          Interesting, I don't like the Balaton ones nearly as much as the Northstar or Montmorency. They aren't nearly as tart, to my taste. They do keep their shape much better...

          1. re: leek

            Northstar includes morello in it's ancestry and is as deep red as most morellos, including Balaton, when it is fully ripe. Morellos tend to have higher sugar, less acidity, more complex flavor, more intense flavor and much deeper color than Montmorency. The higher sugar and less acid both contribute to Balatons being less tart than Montmorency. If Northstar cherries are as tart as Montmorency, they were picked before being fully ripe. Fully ripe Northstars are as dark red as many sweet cherries.

        2. I got a boatload at the Arlington Heights farmers market just now, and they are promised at the Mt. Prospect market tomorrow. The guy who comes to Arlington Heights sells bags of pitted sour cherries towards the end of the sour cherry season (we're talking maybe a couple of weeks from now).

          1. We actually got sour/tart cherries from a Michigan grower at the Green City Market yesterday. They were neon red and pert little buggers. We are not making a pie but wanted them for brandied cherries. We are more boozers than dessert people.