Yesterday, a box of Batch's Best Family Farms Bing cherries arrived at Serious Eats world headquarters via Chefshop. Because these cherries are picked and air-shipped the same day, they cost a lot more than the cherries we get at our local supermarkets. But much like the Gold Bud peaches I have written about, these cherries are worth every penny.
They are firm, juicy, and sweet, with just enough acidity to let you know you are eating a perfect cherry. These cherries make me very happy, and I think they will make you very happy, too.
What's interesting about these cherries is how consistent they are. Just about every cherry in the box looks and tastes the same. When I buy cherries at my local supermarket, one will be perfect—dark red, firm, and delicious—and the next will be overripe—mushy, matte, and too sweet, with no acidity or crunch whatever. Cherry season is just about over, and Chefshop is no longer shipping Bings, but they are shipping Sweetheart cherries in the next week or so.
If you can't swing spending more than $50 on three pounds of cherries, hit your local market. Russ Parsons, author of How to Pick a Peach, gives the following tips on storing and buying cherries.
How to Choose: In the cherry box at the store there will be a wide range of ripeness. Take the time to choose carefully, sorting through a small handful at a time. Choose fruit that is dark red, almost to the point of being black, and shiny, not matte. There should be no shriveling or wilting. Common faults such as doubling and spurring do not affect the flavor.
How to Store: Stored tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator, cherries will last a surprisingly long time—up to three weeks. Do not wash until just before using.
Cherries should be put in the fridge before serving, but these Batch's Best cherries are so good that I eat many of them straight from the box.
Parsons doesn't tell us what to do with the pits. What does a polite person do with the pits?