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Sour cherries in Vancouver?

I plan to make some homebrew with cherries and am reading everywhere that I need to get sour cherries. A brewer in the Straight today says he gets his from a place in Aldergrove, but I am wondering if anyone here knows where I can find some a little closer to Kits?

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  1. Persian specialty stores will sometimes carry them because they're used to make a number of summertime dishes, including jam. There's a speciality store in West Van, next door to Le Pic-Nic (1143 Clyde Ave off of Marine Drive). I've seen them there before. I'd say call ahead, but of course I have no idea what the grocery store is called. If that fails, I've got a ton in my freezer! Perhaps I will have to try the homebrew recipe.

    1. Dried or fresh? There are dried ones at Galloways and Meinhardts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: victoriafoodie

        Mae Nam is doing a sour cherry foam on one of their drinks. Maybe you could call the resto and find out where they are getting them (though maybe that would be wholesale).

      2. Thanks for the feedback, all. I have some following up to do... (Vicfoodie, I'm seeking fresh.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: cdnprairiedog

          Cherry season is just starting and the really short sour cherry time should be very soon. It's interesting how few cherry growers still cultivate them but there is one that sells at Granville Island at one of the day tables. Keep an eye out there.
          They used to contact me when they were going to be there and if so I'll post about it here.

          If that fails I have a few kilos of frozen, pitted sour cherries that I may be able to help you with depending on the quantity you need.

          1. re: eatrustic

            Dear eatrustic! Is your kind offer still on? I need a couple of kilos of sour cherries to make a pie and perogies with them for my son's wedding. I couldn't find fresh sour cherry yet... I would be eternally grateful if I could buy some frozen sour cherries from you.
            If you still have them and can sell some (a kilo or two), please let me know when, where, and how it would be convenient for you. My phone #604-519-0951. Thank you, Natalia.

        2. Thanks for your offer, most appropriately named eatruistic - I need about 5-10 lbs, so I won't tax your supply. I did spot an ad on craigslist today, placed by some folks who will be bringing Montmorencies to Vancouver on Monday nights, while they are in season. I'm going to order up some up and get brewing some homemade kriek.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cdnprairiedog

            I was in North Van today and I stopped in at Yaas. They will be getting sour cherries "very soon" (probably within a week). Give them a call if you haven't sourced them yet.

            Yaas Bakery
            1860 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M, CA

          2. One of the cherry purveyors at the West End Farmer's Market this past Saturday promised that the sour cherries would be arriving this weekend. He wasn't sure if he was going to have a table at the market this Saturday but he did say he would call me to let me know. If he does, I'll post the info.

            1 Reply
            1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

              John the sour cherry guy did have them this past weekend, but I unfortunately did not get the message until that morning so I didn't have time to post it. He did say that he would have them again this weekend. He may also be at the Kits Farmer's Market on Sunday.

            2. I'm the place in Aldergrove that grows the sour cherries in the Vancouver area. We wholesale to Bob's Fruit in North Vancouver, you can contact them at 980-7001. This year's crop is very flavourful, thanks to the sunshine!! Good luck with your beer!

              13 Replies
              1. re: cherrylady

                You can find tart cherries at Mitras Market, 1451 Clyde Ave, West Van, 604-913-0660
                I am the grower and will be shipping for another 1-2 wks. These cherries are very unique:

                1. re: 3stuges

                  Hi grower...usually buy 30 to 50 lbs a year....how can I get a hold of you? or you me? 604-838-7006

                  1. re: ktinvan

                    Hi there,
                    I'm taking the last fresh load to Mitras Market tomorrow.
                    Call Sam @ 604 913 0660


                    1. re: 3stuges

                      Hi 3stuges,
                      I've just bought a case of your sour cherries. They are soooo delicious!!! Thank you!
                      Now I will be waiting for the next year's crop:)

                      1. re: 3stuges

                        Hi, Thank you!!!! Bought 2 cases yesterday.

                  2. re: cherrylady

                    Hi cherrylady,
                    I am in search of some tart cherries for baking, but am unable to find ANY in my area. I live in BC. Do you ship them, for example, frozen and pitted?
                    Thanks a lot,

                    1. re: BuffM

                      I was at the Kits Farmer's Market yesterday and they were available fresh. $5.00 ish a pound and today dropped by Alenka and found loads of frozen sour cherries in the freezer.

                      The owner said she had them year round.

                      1. re: repartee

                        We were at Alenka on Sat too -- what a great store! Their European sausages are porky goodness, and I love their vareneky. They are also carrying very nice fruit juice concentrates in several flavours for $6.99. We got the raspberry, real tasting, not too sweet but they also have black current, morello cherry and blueberry. This place in worth checking out, especially if you combine it with a trip to Ba Le next door for banh mi, excellent flan and tasty Vietnamese flying saucer puffy pastries (which are outrageous dipped in Longevity condensed milk).

                        1. re: grayelf

                          I wish I'd known about the pastries!

                          That trip also included buying coffee and filter to make that slow dripped Vietnamese coffee.

                          Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! Condensed milk.

                          1. re: repartee

                            That's why I had the condensed milk on hand -- we're planning to fire up the iced Viet coffee this weekend :-).

                            Here's a shot of one of the pastries, trying to show it's 3-D flying saucerishness. They come in bags of four and are usually on the counter in front of the till. I think they are $3...

                        2. re: repartee

                          Sour cherries are available at Cherries Jubileee out in in Aldergrove this week until Aug. 2nd. Don't know what price they are this year, but in my experience, the price has always been very reasonable and the quality is excellent. I'll be off tomorrow to pick up my year's supply.

                      2. re: cherrylady

                        Saw your 2009 post and was wondering (1) how the 2012 crop is going and (2) where in the lower mainland I can buy them? Thanks, I can taste them already.

                        1. re: boundarybayguy

                          Sour cherry crop is looking good. We will begin harvest on Saturday, July 28th and Sunday, July 29th for the weekend only. We will then reopen on Saturday, August 4th and are open daily through and including Friday, August 10th. We sell them direct off the farm, our farm information can be found on www.bcfarmfresh.com Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
                          We're located at 272 St. and 20th Ave. in Aldergrove.

                      3. Any idea on arrival in Vancouver for 2011?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: eagertraveler

                          I'm hoping to pick in 2-3 wks......If mother nature co-operates.
                          Now off to pick peas.............



                          1. re: 3stuges

                            Great, Be sure to let us know where to buy them when they are ready.

                            1. re: 3stuges

                              let us know where they are available i am eagerly awaiting a post here also

                              1. re: kayrae

                                I've seen sour cherries at Granville Island on the weekend. Sold by the more or less permanent day vendor from the Okanagan if I remember correctly.

                                At this point they should be at their peak of availability and won't last long. I'll keep an eye out at Trout Lake this weekend as there were a couple of vendors that were supposed to carry them.

                                1. re: eatrustic

                                  They were at the Trout Lake and Kits markets this past weekend. They should also be around this coming weekend but I think that will be it. So brief. Good thing they freeze well.

                          2. What I'm hearing from growers is that every time they're about ready to pick, the sky pisses down on them. I'm expecting my round of frozen cherries to be delayed until mid August at this rate and that farmer sounds like he expects to have to freeze 80+ percent of his crop this year.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: thatwhileifound

                              Piss is close to what has been occurring........fruit is 7-14 days behind sched. Good luck to the vineyards this yr....cld be lots of vinegar this yr.

                              Sour cherries may be ready this wknd.....

                              1. re: 3stuges

                                Yeah, it's been absolutely horrible what's been happening with berries. I've heard a lot of woes with strawberries in particular as a result of those 2-3 hot & dry days that we did receive and the rain that surrounded it.

                              2. re: thatwhileifound

                                willing to share your source for frozen ones?

                                1. re: kayrae

                                  Most Persian Markets have them like Yaas Bazaar. Gourmet ware hours has offered to order for me from Snowcap foods. Snowcap no longer sells retail packs.

                                  1. re: kayrae

                                    I'm buying wholesale as a retailer, but the farm I'm going to be picking up from is George Zebroff's. We'll probably have them a week or two before some of the major retailers as they'll be waiting for the big distributor in the lower mainland to get them before bringing them in, but you should see them rolling into most natural/organic focused stores in mid to late August if the weather doesn't ruin everything more than it already has.

                                    As stated by eagertraveler, Persian Markets are a good spot, as are anyone who will do special orders for you with Snowcap. If you're looking for BC and especially organic, it's going to take a while longer though.

                                    1. re: thatwhileifound

                                      Who and where is George Zebroff located?

                                      1. re: 3stuges

                                        He's out in Cawston. Good guy. I don't know what the pricing is going to be like yet though. Last year's frozen stock was usually retailing for $18-20/kg at most retailers that carried it (sold in 500g packages). As it sounds like more of his product is going to go into the frozen side this year than last, I'm hoping it brings down the costs considerably for me at a retail level. Regardless, I don't expect it to be cheap and this is definitely going to be running a bit more than your regular ol' BC organic cherries (for example, Urban Fare is retailing their current batch of fresh, but boring cherries for $5.99lb or like $13/kg).

                                        As to the original person, I just noticed the Kits part: Check in mid-August at Capers for frozen and bug the produce guys periodically for the fresh stuff.

                                        1. re: thatwhileifound

                                          FYI sour cherries are generic and one should be looking for specific varieties. For instance a Mac apple certainly is different than a Gala apple. A Montmorency sour cherry is dramatically different than a Danube or Balaton sour cherry. If one is looking for the best quality sour cherry, you should be looking for Danube or Balaton. They certainly have sourness, but have enough sugar content(esp later in the season) to be eaten fresh.

                                          My cherries are just coming into maturity....and thus will be late to market. If you need your fix of sours now, check out the Trout Lake/Kits market as I know a friend of mine will have some of his for sale. Tell him you saw this on Chowhound. Otherwise mine will be ready in a wk or so. Call Mitris Market 604-913-0660 to place an order.... Cheers and thanks for supporting BC Farmers.

                                2. For those interested, we just received sour cherries at Persia Foods; we have 3 locations --

                                  North Van: 118 w 15th st (just off lonsdale)

                                  West Van: 1469 marine Dr

                                  Vancouver: 6437 Main St (between 48th and 49th -- this location is in dis-array at the moment, but the sour cherries are still available)

                                  The cherries are not great, though, and I would probably hold off until later in the season. The price is $2.99/lb.

                                  On a side note, If any of the distributors/farmers are looking to sell to stores, we generally buy 4-500 cases/week.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: sobbuh

                                    Mitra's market has them in. From California. 2.99 lb or 34.99 a 12lb box. Enjoy!

                                    1. re: eagertraveler

                                      Yes too bad he isn't buying BC fruit this yr........please support your BC farmers.

                                      1. re: 3stuges

                                        Yes agreed! BC product seems to be better than the California (really Michigan) product.

                                        1. re: eagertraveler

                                          Went back for another case as the cases were smaller this year than in past years. Not too happy with the quality this time. Almost a pound had to be discarded. Could there be a higher price for non Persians?

                                          1. re: eagertraveler

                                            If you got them at Mitra's call Sam and complain.....

                                              1. re: eagertraveler

                                                I assume they are selling the same ones as us, in which case it's likely you just got a bad box?

                                                The boxes do seem very empty compared to previous years, but they should be 12-13 lbs. (We're selling boxes for $30, btw).

                                                1. re: sobbuh

                                                  I may have some sour cherries if you are interested....they are quite late this yr.
                                                  Transportation is perhaps an issue.

                                                  1. re: 3stuges

                                                    Thanks everyone. I will definitely buy BC next year but I'm good for this year and off on vacation. Cheers!

                                                    1. re: eagertraveler

                                                      Stopped by on my way to the Chinatown Festival to let all you sour cherry hounds know there are some awesome ones at the Kerrisdale Farmers' Market (5300 West Boulevard at 37th) today till 2. The farm is called Jobst-Hof and the cherries are a Hungarian variety called erdi botermi (missing some umlauts here, see photo below). They're $4.99 a pound and are very tasty. I asked if he'll be around next weekend and he thinks probably here, possibly at Trout Lake and Kits also, but that next weekend will be it for the sours. All the fruit is grown conventionally but without using pesticides. They use an organic agent to control cherry fruit fly.

                                                      His other cherries are lovely also. I nabbed half a pound of his red variety, stupidly forgetting to write down the name. He's selling "splits" for jam making at a greatly reduced price if anyone's into that. The Rainiers were prime also.

                                  2. Hey guys I know it is not the same but Marketplace IGA stores carry 100% sourcherry juce. No added sugar. I love those tart and sweet so delicious. The brand name is Dimes

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: uche

                                      Good to know. I get the Dimes brand at Parthenon whenever they have it as it comes in a tetra pack.

                                      Also reconfirmed presence of frozen sour cherries at Alenka on Kingsway recently per repartee's post from last year above.

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Sours are back at the farmers markets in Van. They were sold out at Jobst-Hof by 11 am at Kits last Sunday but he said they'd have more this Sat at the Kerrisdale Market. Forgot to note the price, my bad.

                                        1. re: grayelf

                                          Jobst-Hof were indeed at the Kerrisdale FM today and they had the Hungarian sours at $4.99 a pound, same price as last year, though the sign said limited supply.

                                          1. re: grayelf

                                            Same price at UBC Farm today too.

                                            1. re: waver

                                              Oh that's right, I recall him saying to another patron that he had a stand there as well!

                                        2. re: grayelf

                                          Hi every one there are lots of sour cherry trees in vancouver because of suitable weather I have seen lots of them in my way to home but trees are very tall and I can,t get them . right now I see the seeds in path way after eating fruits by birds . fruit is very good for urinary system .
                                          I have seen lots of cornelian cherry (dog wood family) trees in Stanley Park. .fruit is oval shape and sour also . it is tasty and good for immunity .

                                      2. if anyone is going to okanagan (or has a friend who can freeze) -- Forest Green Man in Naramata is advertising sours --- it's well worth visit while in Naramata - interesting food and lavender grower. www.mynaramata.com classified section or http://www.forestgreenman.com/Home.html ---- great garlic too. (in season) Also check out local farmer market on Wed afternoons in the small town.

                                        1. Picked some up today in Aldergrove at Cherries Jubilee. $3.00 per pound. They look great!

                                          1. Season is basically over for finding fresh sour cherries at the farmers' markets. But Cherry Jubilee in Aldergrove has pitted & frozen available year 'round. Call ahead and arrange for pick up. IIRC, 2L and 4L tubs?

                                            1. At Persia Foods for $3.99 as of 5 hours ago. One on Bdwy and McDonald