It is time for Picked-at-their-Peak Cherries

Ingredients

We can't wait for summertime fruit! Here in Washington, cherries are at the heart of our local farmers' markets all through July. At Chefshop, we work with multiple generations of the Stennes Family farms in Eastern Washington bringing you the most delicious cherries anywhere - sweet, crisp, juicy, dark-red...everything a cherry should be.

These are just-in-time, picked-at-their-peak cherries. It is never too late early to place your order to hold your place in line for cherries.

Every year we wait impatiently for the cherries to arrive at the warehouse. With great anticipation, we open the box for a first peek at all those impeccable red beauties, each with its stem intact.

We can hardly wait to taste, and then we launch right into the nuances of this year's crop. Is it better than last year's? What about the ones we had three years ago?

We talk about the way the cherry crunches, how much juice spurts out when our teeth break through the skin, and how unbelievably sweet and fresh they are.

Early Robins come first. They are larger and seem sweeter than Rainiers, and they extend the cherry season by coming in even earlier than the coveted Rainiers.

The cool night time temperatures of northern Chelan help to create a firmer fleshed cherry than their brethren to the south. That is just one factor to why our cherries are so good and worth waiting for.

The goal is to have the cherries' harvest and delivery to be spread out over weeks, from end of June to end of July. The last few years nothing about timing has been the same. We won't know until the cherries are harvested. And then we start packing!

This year is going to bring surprises for the crop and harvest timing. As you may have heard the weather is extremely different with temperatures higher in many places in the world than ever before. And the drought continues... except for here, where we have cooler than normal temperatures and more rain than ever so far in June.

What this means is that crops here and all over the world will have changes in timing of harvest, size of crop, and even failure. Even though this is going to be tough at the store, it is going to be even tougher for the farmer.