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Aug 10, 2009 02:31 PM

Any idea where to buy fresh sour cherries in SF or Napa?

I made a great cherry clafoutis this weekend using fresh bing cherries. I think it would be even better with sour cherries. Any ideas where to buy fresh sour cherries (Whole Foods doesn't carry them)? Anyone tried frozen sour cherries and if so, how do they stack up against fresh cherries? Thanks

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  1. There were fresh ones at Berkeley Bowl this week, so they're around.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Great. Thanks Robert. Going to try the Ferry Building tomorrow as well.

      1. re: teejaymoore

        They're coming from Washington and other points out of state, so I wouldn't expect to see them there.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Agreed. My local (Lagier Farm) sour cherries have been soaking in bourbon since 6/28, and the season for them here is extremely short (2-3 weeks is my understanding).

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            The latest BB sour cherries are from Canada.

      2. There was a stand at Alemany Farmer's Market that sold them last summer. Although now it might be late in the season already. Check this post though for my suggestions, as well as others:

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dave MP

          I believe the season's long over in California, so they should not be found at any certified FM.

        2. One more question for all you sour cherry fans - do the canned ones in water work well in baking (I'm making a cake)? The bings I used last weekend were great, but I really like the idea of the sour cherries with all the sweetness of the cake.

          I did find fresh sour ones at the Berkeley Bowl, but not sure I'm going to make it across the bridge this week and the canned ones in water seem to be readily available. Appreciate any thoughts.

          6 Replies
          1. re: teejaymoore

            What role are the cherries playing in the cake?

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Clafoutis - you put the pitted cherries on the bottom of the pan and pour the cake batter over it. Bake and invert (think pineapple upside down cake with much better flavor and without that horrible caramelization thing. I think they would be OK since cake is baked for an hour with cherries in it, so it's not like they're fresh cherries on top or anything.

              1. re: teejaymoore

                I've only used fresh myself, but I've seen recipes for clafoutis made with frozen cherries, so canned ought to work just as well. It's not a fussy dish.

            2. re: teejaymoore

              You can find beautiful frozen sour cherries from Washington state at Andronico's on Irving St. (at 14th Ave.) in San Francisco.

              1. re: Nancy Berry

                Thanks Nancy. Any thoughts on frozen versus canned in water for baking? I think they would be equally good, but have never used either. Thanks

                1. re: teejaymoore

                  Frozen sour cherries are infinitely better than canned. The canned ones have very little flavor and are soggy in texture.

            3. I found them last week at the Russian grocery stores along Geary last week. They were not organic but they were very fresh. I also got a bunch of gooseberries and currants.

              1 Reply
              1. re: baybritta

                Thanks baybritta and Nancy. Nancy - I think that makes sense. We're trained to be so anti-frozen food I was discounting it, but agree flash frozen is probably better than packed in water.

              2. Quick follow up - made the clafoutis with the IQF frozen, tart cherries I had shipped from Michigan. Far and above better than the canned, tart cherries I tried the last time. I also took the frozen bag of cherries (expensive once you added shipping) and cut it into three chunks and put each into a freezer bag as one bag will make about three clafoutis. Felt foolish spending that much to ship the frozen cherries to California, but turned out to be well worth it.