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Summer's Charmed Cherries

July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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Native to Central Asia, cherries are a luscious burgundy-red fruit. Not only can they be used as a great anti-aging ingredient, but they also can add a pleasant perfume to any treatment. The tangy, sweet taste completes any meal—from pie to jelly—making eating healthy an easy endeavor.

Facts

Recognized for its white blossoms, cherries are round with flesh surrounding large pits. They are excellent sources of vitamin C and are high in vitamin A, polyphenols, antioxidants and anthocyanins—active compounds that help prevent oxidative damage. In addition, cherries pack a dietary punch, containing calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and iron. Although the sweet taste is highly sought after, cherries are delicate, extremely vulnerable to the elements and costly to harvest during the short picking season.

In the kitchen

Cherries, delicious when eaten fresh, are featured in a variety of desserts, ranging from tarts to puddings. The fruit can be preserved, cooked, dried or candied, and it makes a great complement to cheese and meat. Try the Toasted Hazelnut Pancake with Bing Cherry Compote at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix. Georg Ots Spa Hotell in Kuressaare, Estonia, offers Baked Golden-brown Emmental Cheese and Wild Cherry Sauce. In Fish Creek, Wisconsin, the Lavender Spa at Settlement Courtyard Inn provides the option of enjoying Door County Cherry Juice with each session. Other selections include Seared Duck Breast with Pea Shoots and Cherry Reduction, Cherry Flambé dessert and Cherry Blossom Cola, all offered at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown in Washington, D.C., during its National Cherry Blossom Festival. See also Cherry Oatmeal Cookies, courtesy of Pastry Chef Craig Lewkowitz, of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan.

In the spa

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Cherry Quick Facts

• There are three varieties of cherries—sweet, sour and wild. Sweet cherries are noted as large and heart-shaped, while sour varieties are favored for pies and preserves.

• Most sweet cherries are ripe for picking around mid-June, while tart cherries mature between mid-July and early August.

• A cherry pitter is a handy tool that easily pits the fruit.

• The cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., were a gift from Japan in 1912 and symbolize the coming of spring.

• Traverse City, Michigan, the “Cherry Capital of the World,” hosts a National Cherry Festival each year.

Recipe: Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup and 2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup and 2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cake flour

1 1/4 cups dried tart cherries

3/4 cup walnut pieces

2 teaspoons (level) baking soda

2 teaspoons (level) kosher salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 fresh eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.

2. Combine all ingredients together, kneading by hand until well mixed.

3. Spoon onto two large baking sheets coated with cooking spray in 24 equal portions.

4. Bake on the middle rack until golden for approximately 12 minutes.

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