Montmorency Tart Cherries
Tart cherries. Sour Cherries. Pie Cherries. These are usually referring to the Montmorency cherry for which northern
Michigan is famous. Fresh Montmorency cherries are very perishable and
difficult to sell as a fresh fruit, which is why you don't often see them
in the fresh produce section of your supermarket.
Your options -
- Pick your own here - You can pick your own tart cherries
in season right from the tree and we will wash them and pit them
for you. This costs around $1 a pound, and there is a flat
$6 fee for washing and pitting (any amount) while you wait. U-pick starts around mid-July, depending on weather and orchard conditions (keep an eye on our Orchard Talk blog for regular updates). This is very popular; many people drive 200 miles or more to visit
the beautiful Grand Traverse area and pick cherries.
- Dip from our tanks during harvest - As we harvest tart
cherries they go immediately into tanks of cold water, and then
are brought up from the orchard to the fruit stand to the cooling
pad where they are held for a few hours and continually rinsed
with cooled water. These are same price as u-pick. This only lasts for a few days during the harvest,
so call ahead to be sure.
- Washed sorted and pitted - from our fruitstand coolers during harvest season.
- Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate - Available year 'round
by mail order. Call or order online. This
is the most affordable, convenient and potent way to get the nutritional
value of tart cherries into your diet.
- Dried Tart Cherries - Available year round by mailorder.
Call or order online. Dried tarts are
an excellent way to get tart cherries into your diet and are
great for snacking and baking.
Balaton is a European Morello-style sour cherry we grow. They are
firmer and sweeter than the American Montmorency variety. They are
available fresh in our fruitstand around the first of August.
Dark Sweet Cherries
We grow several varieties of dark sweet cherries sometimes called
"Bing" or "Black" cherries. These are available for u-pick and in
the fruit stand and are fresh-eating cherries. We ship a limited amount
of fresh dark sweets overnight in season. Expect to pay around
$100 total for the cherries and the shipping... unless you're in lower Michigan or Chicago, in which case we can probably get them to you in one day via UPS ground.
Light Sweet Cherries
We grow several varieties of light sweet cherries, sometimes called
"Queen Anne" cherries. These are available in the fruit stand and
for u-pick and are fresh-eating cherries.
Our tart cherry juice concentrate is available in some health
food stores and specialty produce stores.
There are a few things to be watch for and be careful about with
brands other than King Orchards.
- Ready to drink juice costs more and the heat pack process seems
to cause deterioration of the qualities that provide the health
benefits, which is why we are shipping concentrate rather than
ready to drink juice.
- There are reports of brands of concentrate that are not a full
quart and therefore seem less expensive, as well as juice that
does not have the full 68 brix (a measurement of quality) that
- Many people have told us that there is a distinctly better taste
with our juice than with the other brands. We grow the cherries
and we know taste and quality. As tart cherries become more and
more popular, there will be people trying to cash in with inferior
products, so as always be a wise consumer.
Canned Montmorency - "pie cherries"
This is another good way to go. Our canned tart cherries in water are just that, tart cherries and water. No sugar, additives or coloring. If you can't find them in your store, call us
and we can ship them to you, or order them online.
More Questions? Give us a call, toll free at 877-937-5464.