Bowl of Rainier Cherries
A bowl of fresh Rainer cherries...and they were so sweet and juicy!
INFORMATION ON THE RAINIER CHERRY:
Rainier is a cultivar of cherry. The Rainier was created in 1952 at Washington State University by Harold Fogle, as a cross between the Bing and Van cultivars.
Rainiers are sweet cherries with creamy-yellow flesh. The cherries are very sensitive to temperature, wind, and rain. About 1/3 of a Rainier cherry orchard's crop is eaten by birds. Rainiers are considered the "cream of the crop", selling for $5 dollars a pound or more in the USA and as much as a dollar each in Japan.
INFORMATION ON THE CHERRY:
The word cherry refers to a fleshy fruit (drupe) that contains a single stony seed. The cherry belongs to the family Rosaceae, genus Prunus, along with almonds, peaches, plums, apricots and bird cherries. The subgenus, Cerasus, is distinguished by having the flowers in small corymbs of several together (not singly, nor in racemes), and by having a smooth fruit with only a weak groove or none along one side. The subgenus is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with two species in America, three in Europe, and the remainder in Asia.
Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in rats. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants under active research for a variety of potential health benefits. According to a study funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego, rats that received whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet did not gain as much weight or build up as much body fat, and their blood showed much lower levels of inflammation indicators that have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. In addition, they had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than the other rats.
Cherries have a very short growing season and can grow anywhere, including the great cold of the tundra. In Australia they are usually at their peak around Christmas time, in southern Europe in June, in North America in June, in south British Columbia (Canada) in July-mid August and in the UK in mid July, always in the summer season. In many parts of North America they are among the first tree fruits to ripen.
Annual world production (as of 2007) of domesticated cherries is about two million tonnes. Around 40% of world production originates in Europe and around 13% in the United States. In the United States, most sweet cherries are grown in Washington, California, Oregon, and Northern Michigan. Important sweet cherry cultivars include "Bing", "Brooks", "Tulare", "King" and "Rainier". Both Oregon and Michigan provide light-colored "Royal Ann" ('Napoleon'; alternately "Queen Anne") cherries for the maraschino cherry process. Most sour (also called tart) cherries are grown in Michigan, followed by Utah, New York, and Washington. Additionally, native and non-native cherries grow well in Canada (Ontario and British Columbia). Sour cherries include Nanking and Evans Cherry. Traverse City, Michigan claims to be the "Cherry Capital of the World", hosting a National Cherry Festival and making the world's largest cherry pie. The specific region of Northern Michigan that is known the world over for tart cherry production is referred to as the "Traverse Bay" region. Farms in this region grown many varieties of cherries, sold through companies in the region.