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.
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.