One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour and gorgeous good looks. The juicy flesh can be sweet or sour, depending on which of the hundreds of varieties they are. Cherries are divided into three groups: sweet, sour and hybrids.
Read our guide on the health benefits of cherries.
At their peak in mid July.
Choose the best
Buy plump, shiny cherries that have their stalks attached and look for fruit that is dark red, firm but not hard.
Generally, pale cherries are sweet and dark cherries more acidic. It is always a good idea to try before you buy to get the flavour that you prefer.
Remove stalks and use a cherry stoner to pit the cherries if you are using a large number for a recipe.
Keep unwashed cherries in the fridge for 3-4 days and wash them just before serving. Cherries also freeze well.
Sweet cherries are suitable for eating, sour cherries are great in tarts, pies, crumbles and sauces.