HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

annual sour cherry search

  • b

Well, it seems that this time of year often elicits queries about the availability of fresh sour cherries. I'm looking to make a birthday pie tomorrow but don't have much time to shop around. I'd appreciate any leads. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Might want to call ahead - as it's about that time at

    http://www.smolakfarms.com/crop-schedule

    1. Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro says that they are just beginning the short cherry season
      http://parleefarms.com/current.html
      I would call and ask about sour cherry availability...I went there last year to pick sweet cherries and it was wonderful. I think it was the first year that they had cherry for pyo.
      I read some complaints on the web about the rules for cherry picking - you have to prepay $8.50 per quart, and it's two people per quart. I suspect they did that because of the extent of "sampling" - I was appalled at the amount of cherries that some visitors were eating out in the orchard. nibbling is one thing, but there were some groups that probably ate an entire quart without paying.

      -----
      Parlee Farm
      95 Farwell Rd, Tyngsboro, MA

      1. Have you tried the Middle Eastern markets in Watertown like Arax? I just had some great saffron rice with sour cherries and chicken at Moby Dick on Huntington and find that it is a common recipe. That makes me think that those markets might have them. Also have you called Russo's to see if they have them?

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

        -----
        Moby Dick
        269 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

        1 Reply
        1. re: BostonZest

          now that you mention it, Penny, I thought I saw some at Arax last week. My impression is that if they can get it at the Chelsea wholesale market, they will stock it. Recently they have also stocked those small yellow/organe sour plums.

        2. Well, I struck out at Wilson Farm and Russo's. I ended up getting Trader Joe's jarred morello cherries, but since I have to go out again I think I'll head to the Watertown markets. Great suggestion.

          The Wilson person said he thought it would be a couple more weeks. Thanks, all!

          -----
          Wilson Farm
          10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

          Trader Joe's
          1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

          1. I was at the Brookline Farmers' market today and Cook's Orchard had sour cherries. They will be at Copley on Friday and Somerville Union Square on Saturday if you can get there.

            http://www.cooksfarmorchard.com/

            Penny
            http://www.bostonzest.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: BostonZest

              Thanks, Penny. I appreciate the info. I decided to go ahead and use the jarred morello cherries since the birthday boy wanted his pie. They worked pretty well with Cooks Illustrated Vodka pie crust. I've promised him a fresh sour cherry cobbler after the 4th so I'll definitely check out Cook's.

              I'm pretty sure the cherries that Trader Joe's and Wilson Farm sold last year were from upstate New York, which is fairly local, but even better supporting a Brimfield farm.

              -----
              Wilson Farm
              10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

              Trader Joe's
              1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              1. re: BostonZest

                Kimball Farms at Brookline had cherries, but when I asked if they were sour, the woman quite truthfully said, "You know, these are supposed to be sour, but they came out awfully sweet this year. We'll have another cherry maybe as early as next week, and they should be much more sour." So there you go. Could just be late this year.

                -----
                Kimball Farm
                400 Littleton Rd, Westford, MA 01886

              2. Another place to get sour cherries if you're in a pinch (and TJ's jarred morellos sound like a pinch!), is the Russian grocery on Beacon St. in Washington Square (near Golden Temple). It has frozen pitted sour cherries, which have made some lovely pies. Someone on CH gave me that tip when I moved here two years ago!

                1 Reply
                1. It's usually not until the middle of July in recent years, but given the severity of this winter, it might come later.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    When I asked yesterday at the Belmont market, the woman from Kimball Fruit Farm thought they would be a little late this year. They did have bright red cherries that looked like sour cherries but they were sort of half way between sweet and tart. I'm holding out.

                    1. re: heypielady

                      Still not there this week...guess I'll bake a cake.

                      1. re: heypielady

                        Still no cherries. Guys, I'm getting nervous.

                        1. re: heypielady

                          I would not expect them until the end of the month this year, given the severity of winter and the cold spring.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            They're here! Kimball had them at the Belmont Farmer's Market today!

                            1. re: heypielady

                              None from NY at Wilson Farm today, but I should start checking Trader Joes's this weekend.

                              1. re: heypielady

                                all Right!
                                Can't wait to can some preserves -because nothing is better than boiling a big pot of water when it's 95 out. :)

                                1. re: cpingenot

                                  Ha! That was my thought exactly. I can't wait to crank my oven to 425 in this heat.

                                2. re: heypielady

                                  Yay! Russo's didn't have any a couple of days ago, but maybe soon.

                                  1. re: heypielady

                                    Ahhh! It was worth the hype. I made my first sour cherry pie and I think it was the best pie I ever made.

                        2. this is why I order them every winter from Michigan, frozen, at enormous expense. I still have some in my freezer.

                          1. Called Russos this weekend and they said "A couple of weeks" ditto at Kimball Farms stand.
                            I didn't make it to Arax, would love to hear if there have been confirmed sightings at Arax or anywhere else.

                            -----
                            Kimball Farm
                            400 Littleton Rd, Westford, MA 01886

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cpingenot

                              Be advised that local markets that carry sour cherries often get them from western NY - Orbacker's Fruit Farm in Williamson NY (on Lake Ontario) supplies Wilson Farm and Trader Joe's (the latter often $2 less per container than Wilson Farm - it's made my life much easier the past 2 years to be able to just get them as Trader Joe's, so call to see if they have them, too.)

                              1. re: Karl S

                                The Food Project had them at their Dudley Farmers Market last Thursday....(Corner of Dudley and Blue Hill Avenue).

                            2. Kimball has them today at the Brookline farmers market. $4/pint and delicious! The pie guy there has sour cherry pies for sale, too. I bought both - the pie for immediate gratification, the fresh cherries to make sour cherry jam.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BobB

                                My favorite use for sour cherries is for a sorbet. No cooking; if you don't cook them, you can preserve all the flavor notes of the fresh cherry. It's wonderful to open up a container in, say November, for a whiff of mid-summer.

                              2. Saw LOTS at Russo's this afternoon! $3.98/qt.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: y2000k

                                  that's a good price at Russos, were they local?
                                  Bought four "containers" (looked like larger than pints, smaller then quarts) for $4 each, and made amazing preserves! Am really tempted to get another 3 pounds and make a second batch.

                                  1. re: cpingenot

                                    The ones I saw at Russo's (on Saturday morning) were not local, though I can't remember now where they were from.

                                      1. re: y2000k

                                        Typically, Orbackers from Williamson NY (on the south shore of Lake Ontario) is the major supplier here.

                                  2. They had about 6 quarts of them at Russo's in Watertown yesterday afternoon.

                                    1. Saw them at Wilson Farms this weekend.

                                      -----
                                      Wilson Farm
                                      10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                                      1. I got some for $3.99 at Trader Joe's on Memorial Drive last Friday. They had plenty and were from New York. Delicious! I'll keep my eye out for the local ones.

                                        -----
                                        Trader Joe's
                                        1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                          1. Star Market on Mt. Auburn in Watertown had some today at $4.99/quart. Looked to be New York cherries, same as Trader Joe's.

                                            -----
                                            Trader Joe's
                                            1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                            1. $3.99 for upstate NY sour cherries at the Fresh Pond Trader Joe's this morning.

                                              -----
                                              Trader Joe's
                                              1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: tazia

                                                There were no sour cherries at the Memorial Drive Trader Joe's so plan your TJ stop accordingly.

                                                -----
                                                Trader Joe's
                                                1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                                1. re: heypielady

                                                  I asked the manager at Mem Drive TJ's about sour cherries last night and he said that they had a pallet of them in the back, but that he couldn't get them out on the shelves until this morning.
                                                  am hoping that there will still be some tonight by the time I get home :)

                                              2. This thread inspired me to trot over to the Dewey Sq Farmers Market in search of truly sour, local cherries - the nice folks from Kimball Farm told me they indeed HAD them at 11:30a but were sold out almost immediately - theirs are totally local and they claim quite sour (unlike the nice tasting but quite sweet sour cherries from NY State we paid $5.99 for at Wilson yesterday) - unfortunately they also say their season is just about finished this year....

                                                -----
                                                Kimball Farm
                                                400 Littleton Rd, Westford, MA 01886

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: rlh

                                                  Man, I hope they have some at Belmont's Market on Thursday. They were indeed deliciously sour. I cannot stop thinking about that pie.

                                                  1. re: heypielady

                                                    That's what's for breakfast Sunday morning if all works out!

                                                    Shaw's on Mt. Auburn had the NY berries yesterday for $4.99/qt.

                                                    1. re: bear

                                                      A truly excellent breakfast! and wow, that's a good price.

                                                  1. Bazaar on Beacon Street in Brookline had lovely looking sour cherries for 2.99 a pound yesterday.

                                                    1. They had them at Arax on Saturday. Give a call to see if they still do.

                                                      1. Just got a terse email from Jenny Ondioline - he says "alert the media - sour cherries at Russo's!" No mention of price or source.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                          $4.99 a package (looks like a generous pint), label claims upstate New York. There were still at least a dozen containers around 2 p.m.

                                                        2. If you see them and like them, you should probably buy them ASAP - It sounds like it may be more of a challenge to get sour cherries this year as the largest producing state is devastated (unless they come in unusually large quantities from NY State and from other areas) -

                                                          Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor reports that today's sour cherry streudel will most likely be their last until next year's harvest... and that other local businesses are importing large quantities from Poland and Hungary this year...

                                                          Cherry crop losses
                                                          About Michigan’s cherry industry: About 80-85 percent of Michigan’s tart cherry crops were destroyed after a warm March was followed by April freezes.
                                                          Tart cherry farmers in 2010 and 2011 lost about 30 percent of crops.
                                                          Michigan cherry farmers normally harvest 180 million pounds of tart cherries, about three-quarters of all harvested tart cherries nationwide.
                                                          Tart cherries are more susceptible to freezes because of a "water-bud stage." If water freezes, it kills the cherry. Sweet cherries won’t experience the same crop destruction this year.

                                                          From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20...