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May 26, 2010 08:43 AM

Cherries: Do They Ripen After Being Picked?

We love Ranier Cherries but, living in the Boston area, we do not have locally grown ones. For the first time in years of buying them, we recently bought a batch that is not as tender/ripe as they should be. Will they ripen if left unrefrig'd? If the answer is yes, do they have that in common with all other stone fruit? Thanks much.

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  1. Wow, that's a new one on me. While I love good soft ripened peaches or pears, cherries, like apples, I want as hard and crisp as I can get them. To me, the perfect cherry is one that cracks when you bite it, and I keep them refrigerated to keep them as hard as possbile, as long as possible. As soon as they get a bit soft, I lose interest. Especially Rainiers, which tend to get soft faster than Bings.

    I guess that's also why jelly beans come in different flavors, though!

    1. If they're already pretty ripe, they will probably get a little softer over time. But in general I don't think cherries are a fruit that ripens off the tree.

      1. i'm pretty sure they don't. If they don'tlook ripe to begin with, I don't buy them. They never get crispy-crunchy-sweet and good and tend to mold.

        1. No, cherries do not ripen off the tree. They only get softer, then mushy, then rotten.

          1. If you want to follow up on various fruits use the word 'climacteric' in your searches.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Paulustrious

              here's a handy-dandy chart of climacteric and non-climacteric fruits.
              cherries are non-climacteric -- meaning their quality will not improve from the time of picking.

              1. re: alkapal

                That sounds useful - could you link to it please?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    And as a not-entirely-trustworthy rule of thumb you are OK putting non-climacteric fruits in the fridge as they will not ripen any further.

                    For climacteric fruits you have to look at each on its own merits.