Cherry De-Lite

January 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

I like cherries. I prefer fresh cherries, but it’s hard to find good ones where I live. Usually, at the grocery store, it’s a short season when they are sweet and flavorful. In Chicago, when I was young, cherries were always tasty. Maybe Dominick’s bought only the good ones. At Kroger, where I shop now, it’s hard to find some that taste sweet and are perfectly bursting with flavor. Last week, when I saw they had some in the produce section, I was at first excited, but I held my guard. Good thing, because the bags had small, overly dark cherries, and I didn’t even have to look closely to see moldly ones. (Note to Kroger: Please try to be more like Wegman’s! No moldy, old produce should be on your shelves.)

Okay, so moving on… What can I do, if I’m in the mood for cherries? Try some American Spoon cherry butter or if I’m out of that, dried cherries. If you’ve had the dried version and it hasn’t met your palate standards, it’s because you haven’t had Cherry De-Lite’s fruit. I’ve tried many kinds of dried cherries over the years, in search of a berry that wasn’t sugary in texture or had little relation to the real thing. It was when I stumbled on Cherry De-Lite on a visit to one of my favorite places on earth – Door County, WI, that I realized there can be a slightly tart, soft, dried cherry. You will find lots of cherries that area of the state, due to the fact that it’s a cash crop for growers. You can’t drive too far there without seeing groves of fruit trees and during the summer, I will even pick and eat the pie cherries, they’re so good.

I love American Spoon products and since I was ordering cherry butter, I tried a bag of their dried cherries. American Spoon is a Michigan company also in the land of cherry growers, so I thought, “If they grow them, they must make a great dried product too.” Not so much. I have yet to taste any dried cherry that tastes as close to ripe as Cherry De-Lite. My mouth waters at the thought of it. They’re perfect in scones, oatmeal, muffins, and just plain, old snacking. Love ’em! I only wish they were available locally.

Last time I was in the Door, I grabbed Cherry De-Lite’s dried cranberries by mistake! When I went to the pantry to get the cherries for scones, the cupboard was bare. I was sure I had purchased some and low and behold, I had two Cherry De-Lite bags, with dark red fruit, but they weren’t cherries. Next year, I’ll be a lot more careful!

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