It’s officially summer here in the Pacific Northwest…. Cherry season has begun! From now through August, we will be picking, packing and shipping these little gems seven days a week.
In all likelihood, when visiting your local supermarket, you will find two different types of cherries. Although there are numerous varieties for each type, we classify them as Dark Sweet and Rainier. But, what’s so different between the two?
The obvious difference between them is their appearance. Dark Sweet cherries are a rich, mahogany color, whereas Rainier cherries are yellow, with a tinge of red. However, their flavor profile also sets them apart from one another. Rainiers have a lower acidity level, which results in them having higher brix (sugar content). Thus, Rainier cherries are actually sweeter than Dark Sweet cherries.
In addition, the growing season for Rainier cherries is much shorter. There is less acreage planted in the Pacific Northwest, therefore there is less volume to supply consumers with. You can find Washington grown Rainiers at retail from mid-June until mid-July. Dark Sweets, though, you will be able to find until the end of August.
Quick Fact: Developed in 1952 at Washington State University, the Rainier cherry is a cross between the Bing and the Van. It gets its name after the highest peak in the state of Washington.
How to: Select, Store & Prep Cherries
Janet Kinney says
Thanks for the Info. 🙂
Janice Fender says
My husband has kidney disease and may even need a transplant. But I want to know if Rainiers are low in potassium like the the cherry ??
Sage Fruit says
You can find the nutrition facts for Rainier cherries here: https://www.sagefruit.com/our-fruit/cherry-supplier/rainier/
Hope that helps!
André Courteau says
I bought your dark cherries at Metro grocery in Boucherville Quebec. It is my discovry of the year. My wife and I eat your excellent product since 2 weeks. Great quality!
I love your cherries…I bought five bags so far from Albertsons in Ocean side these are really the best!
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Kelli Nichols says
Hi! I’m trying to research types of cherries because I would like to buy a couple trees for our own use. I love the “dark sweet” cherries that we buy in the store. What variety of tree would give me those kinds of cherries? TIA for your help!
Sage Fruit says
“Dark Sweet” is a generic name for red cherries, as opposed to the Rainier cherry, which is yellow with a red hue. There are a number of different Dark Sweet varieties we grow here in the Pacific Northwest including: Kordia, Bing, Chelan, Cowiche, Kiona, Lapin, Regina, Santina, Selah, Tieton, Benton, Lambert, Skeena, Sweetheart and Van. They all thrive in different regions and in turn, harvest at different times. But, because of that, we are able to keep you supplied with “Dark Sweet” cherries all summer long. My best advice would be to check with your local nursery to see what they think would be suitable for your region.
If you’d like more information on cherries, I would also recommend the Washington State University website: http://treefruit.wsu.edu/web-article/cherry-varieties/
Hope that helps!
Jeffrey L Burke says
I get my dark Cherries at the Market every Tuesday. 1 lb
Peggy Hobbs says
I first tasted a Rainier cherry at the Pike’s Market in Seattle while on vacation. When I first looked at them, I told my sister those cherries look as if they are not yet ripe, and I bet they are really sour. The vendor heard my remark and told me to try one, that I would really be surprised.
Needless to say, I bought a sack full right then and there. I look forward every year for them in my supermarket and I don’t care how much they are. Those little jewels are wonderful!