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Jul 3, 2010 02:14 PM

Sour cherries

I got some really small sour cherries at Berkeley Bowl West last week and made a cherry pie, which was fantastic, despite the half-hour I spent pitting the suckers . Asked around at BBW this morning and the only info I could get was that sour cherries aren't available right now. In past years they have shown up there very briefly and I suspect that I won't see them again this year.

So here's my question: where can one buy frozen sour cherries? I've looked around, albeit not obsessively, but the only cherries I've seen frozen are Bings. I grew up in Detroit, and we would harvest and freeze 20 or 30 quarts from our Montmorency tree each summer, which my mom would use to make pies throughout the year.

Berkeley Bowl West
920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

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  1. Previous sour cherry thread a few days ago suggested that dried are available at Rainbow. Would these work?

    1. Dried sour cherries also available at Trader Joe and elsewhere. A pie could be devised for them, but nothing resembling the traditional cherry pie. They make a good addition in pies made with other cherries. Montmorencies are relatively (to other cherries) easy to grow and are reputed to have some special health properties- something to do with arthritis. I've had no luck finding them at Monterey Market or elsewhere.

      1. A friend of mine said that she got some at the Civic Center Farmer's Market in SF last week.

        1. How much were they a pound and what type were they and do you know which farm it was from?


          2 Replies
          1. re: fredder

            I talked to a woman at the Frog Hollow stand at today's Berkeley farmers market and she said the climate is too hot here to grow sour cherries. So it may be that they simply aren't grown locally and that the occasional sour cherries at Berkeley Bowl and other places are shipped in from Michigan (which might account for the price). I still can't believe that they can't be bought frozen here, but no one seems to have found a source for frozen pie cherries.

            Berkeley Bowl
            2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            1. re: TopoTail

              The Frog Hollow woman is, what's the word? Wrong? Yeah, that's it.

              I have grown Montmorency cherries in Santa Rosa and Davis -- centers of hotness well beyond Frog Hollow -- and got huge crops.

              Perhaps she meant: "Compared to sweet cherries, they are labor intensive to harvest, have a crappy shelf life, and limited market appeal, so we don't bother."

          2. Sour cherries available at B Bowl (East) today.
            Two-pound box for $5 or $6 as I recall.
            From Washington State.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joel

              Thanks for the tip, Joel. The pie just came out of the oven.