Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plight of the cherry

This is the story of one of the most overlooked and underappreciated fruits in the history of the world: The Cherry.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. And Christmas will come and go. At my family gatherings, there will be many desserts. Puddings, cakes, and pies. Coconut, pumpkin, apple, pecan, chocolate, and lemon. But this year, just as every other year, one pie will be missing. My favorite pie. Cherry.

The cherry, or fruitus apetizus, as some of you may know it, continues to be overlooked in this country. And I have no idea why. It's juicy. Sweet. Tangy. Delicious! Yet it constantly takes a backseat to other fruits and flavors. Not just in pies, but in other culinary avenues as well.

In juices, there's orange and apple. We even have cranberry and grapefruit juice for crying out loud. But no cherry. Heck, you can scarcely find Cherry Coke anymore.

What about milkshakes? Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla. Then pineapple, caramel, cookie... On a list of most popular shakes, you'd probably have to go thru at least twenty or thirty flavors before you got to cherry.

And let's not forget cake. Chocolate, coconut, devil's food, caramel. There's even a carrot cake, for the love of Pete. Who decided to make a carrot into a cake? Why not have a cucumber cake? That makes about as much sense to me.

Oh, but when you want to top a sundae, or a cheesecake, or chocolate cover something, who do you call? That's right, the poor, underappreciated, underutilized cherry. And sure, those things are nice. But cherry can be much, much more than a topping, or a lifesaver, or a cough drop.

About the only places cherry has constantly gotten its due are in the Jello and Kool Aid industries. There's no Jello more popular than cherry. And remember Mister Kool Aid? He was red. Also known as, cherry. Year after year, red Kool Aid is consistently named by kids as their favorite Kool Aid. Sigh. Out of the mouths of babes.

But the lowest blow of all came when some halfwit coined the phrase "American as apple pie." Oh really? The apple, also known as fruitus deceptus. Also widely believed to be the forbidden fruit. AKA, the reason we're all going to die! Yeah. Thanks for that, Granny Smith.

I submit for your careful consideration that no fruit is more American than the cherry. To wit, a little story about George Washington and the cherry tree. Perhaps you've heard of it.

Let's recap:
Apple = death
Cherry = life

I invite and encourage you to join me not only today, but everyday, in honoring the cherry. Request it. Demand it. And maybe someday we'll all be saying, "As American as cherry pie." I have a feeling the father of our country would have wanted it that way.

And if you disagree, well that's OK, too. But next time you ask someone for a favor, try saying, "Pretty please with an apple on top." See how that works for you.

(Disclaimer: This blog is in no way affiliated with or influenced by the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. However, this blogger is not above accepting delicious free cherry pies, or appearing as special guest speaker/Grand Marshall of the cherry festival, or escorting any or all of the Cherry Queen contestants.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries. Don't take it serious. Life's too mysterious. You work, you save, you worry so. But you can't take your dough when you go..."


  1. What would we do, Sir Bone, without you?

    No one else would bring this glaring oversight of American culture to our attention.

    In honor of the cherry, I am now in search of Cherry Cake recipes for my boyfriend.
    Let me know if you run across any.
    (hmm, think it's possible to make Pineapple upside down cake and just sub the cherries for the pineapples???)

  2. You are the cherry of my eye, Bone.

  3. You are the only person who would use the Latin that you know nobody knows

    Now you have me feeling sorry for cherries. However there is cherry juice mixed with other fruits--Apple & Eve

    The thought of cherry cake is uh not appetizing--maybe because of all the maraschino ones.

    I really didn't want to get depressed over cherries---thanks :)

  4. Forgot. The part about Washington is hysterical

  5. When I lived in Germany we discovered Kirsch juice. Kirsch being cherry. It was delicious (esp with a little vodka) and I was disappointed to return to the states, unable to find it anywhere here.

    Yummy cherries.

  6. Elizabeth: Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Um, actually, I'll probably be here the rest of my life. But whatever.

    Hotpinksox: This comment had me smiling so big. Brilliant! Love it.

    Pia: I was reading an article the other day and the writer tossed in a latin phrase, without including the English translation. It started me wondering why people sometimes do that. Are we all supposed to know a little Latin?

    Maya: Those Germans. Beethoven, Marlene Dietrich, Detlef Schrempf, and cherry juice. What will they give us next?

  7. The apple, also known as fruitus deceptus. Also widely believed to be the forbidden fruit. AKA, the reason we're all going to die! Yeah. Thanks for that, Granny Smith.


    Too funny, Bone.

    I must say... I don't like 'em. I give them away every single time I have a sundae. HOWEVER, I'm one of those strange people that LOVES immitation flavored cherry stuff. Cherry Koolaid? Jello? I'm all over it. On the flip side, I love grapes, but can't handle anything fake-grape flavored. Weird doesn't begin to describe me, I know.

    I would advise though, that if you want a cherry pie for Christmas so badly, why don't you - gasp! - make one yourself?

  8. Maraschino Cherries are the reason I order fancy drinks

  9. I am so happy there is another cherry lover out there. I used to be able to find cherry juice, but it has since disappeared from my local grocer. If something is available in cherry I have to try it. The cherry cream slush at Sonic is pretty good if you haven't had it. Also, I have a killer chocolate-cherry cake recipe that is awesome if you would like me to send you the recipe. I would package it up and ship you one, but it is not the kind of cake that would ship well. But it is VERY easy to make.

  10. Sonic has cherry. I always get cherry slushes. I love the cherry cream slush too, kinda like a cherry milkshake.

  11. Now would be a good time to point out that I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

  12. MmhmmMmmhhMmmhmm. I agree with you completely.
    As a person who is lucky enough to have a cherry tree,I know how wonderful they are. And in honour of this fine fruit I'm making Cherry (chocolate) trifle for dessert on Christmas.

  13. Love Cherries! I made my OB very happy by eating an entire carton of Breyers Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream in 3 days and gaining 5 lbs while pregnant with DD. They had some silly idea that I might be aneroxic...pshaw!

    This is why I try every year to make my Grandmother's Cheesecake recipe. This year though I bought myself a smaller cake pan because I make the cheesecake and everyone has a slice on day one. But after that (or half a cheesecake worth) DD & I are the only ones eating it. So this year with a smaller cake, hopefully more will go on day one.

    re: Where are the bunnies? They're up on the shelves in the background....

    Oh! You meant Trina & Trudy? Well you think getting Lilly to sit with the humans was hard...just add prey animals! LOL! Actually Trina & Trudy ARE in the Christmas card...just not that photo. I send out a collage of our year in pictures. The families LOVE it.

  14. Traveling Chica: Hmm, making a cherry pie. That might be a good holiday project for me. Or maybe a cherry cobbler. We'll see.

    Wanderlusting: Yet more proof of the cherry's versatility.

    Twisted panties: Chocolate-cherry cake? Like with real cherries? My mouth is watering.

    Grooviechick: Sonic does have cherry, along with most every other flavor. And where have you been?!

    Heather B: I think you should record that and youtube it.

    MsL: A cherry tree? You have been truly blessed :) I don't think I've ever seen a cherry tree in person.

    Renee: Mmm, cherry cheesecake! I'm hungry.

  15. this is great, I laughed throughout it, imaging you at the thanksgiving table asking for a slice of fruitus apetizus pie!

    I like cherry pie, but apple pie (the way I make them) are my favorite. But then, it has nuts and raisins and stuff in it. I really like cherry cobbler and make a chocolate cherry dutch oven cobbler that's to die for (and if you eat enough of it with the butter and other calories, you probably will die from it)

  16. Cherry pie ala mode! drule slobber Cherry cobbler... ummmmm!

  17. They have Cherry juice, you just have to go to the specialty stores to get it and pay more money for it.

    i sure could use a man's opinion on my blog quandry today.

  18. Personally I have never been a fan of the Cherry. That was until this summer. We have two cherry trees in our back yard. We picked 'em clean this year. They were bloody delicious! Which brings me to the reason your beloved country men over look the Cherry, all those lovely things you just mentioned are usually made with FAKE cherries or worse Maraschino Cherries (bleh).

  19. I'm with you Bone, I love me a good Cherry Crumb Pie!!! A jar of marachino cherries?? YUM!! I actually have a jar of cherry preserves in the fridge right now. It's delish! And by the way, try cherry preserves on a grilled cheese sandwich. Or any jelly for that matter, but since we're on the cherry theme here...go for that!

    The Cherry Queen thing...that's just got too many connotations to it!

  20. I am with you.....Cherry Pie is my fav but no one makes it around the Holidays....I might have to make one now...lol

    I don't like Hot Dogs, Apple Pie or baseball.....i guess I'm Unamerican ~sigh~

  21. I have a cherry tree, but it's just a baby and last year I got about 5 cherries from it. My neighbor has an older tree and when she remembers to put a net over it she gets lots of cherries and shares them with me. But the last two years she's been trying to finish school to become a chef and the birds ate all the cherries...they dropped the seeds in my yard, but I don't have any extra trees from it.

  22. Sage: Thanks. Chocolate and cherry... what a fantastic combination.

    Carmen: I had no idea they had cherry juice. I read your blog. I'm pondering...

    Lux Lisbon: First bum. Now bloody. You really add some European flavor to things. I like it :)

    Carnealian: I've never had cherry preserves!! I want some! Uh, but not on a grilled cheese. Ewww.

    RedNeckGirl: No! That's exactly what these apple apologists want you to think. Your love of cherries means you're even more American! Think GW and the cherry tree :)

    Renee: "They dropped the seeds in my yard, but I don't have any extra trees from it."

    That's a shame :)

  23. Check out Traverse City, Michigan. They have a cherry festival yearly. It's quite the big deal. I'm sure you could find cherry everything there.

  24. Chica: Yeah, I came across that in my research. I added it to the end of my post :)

  25. Sweet!

    And of course you'd be willing to escort the lovely cherry queens... ;)

  26. I don't prefer cherries. I think they're gross. My brother, however, loves them.

  27. Bravo!! Cherry is also my favorite and no one ever brings one to the family dinners. I resolve that I will bring a cherry pie to any and all gatherings!

  28. Traveling Chica: Well, yeah! Did you see them?!

    Lass: Cherries are so not gross :)

    Squirrel: Hear, hear! Now we're making some progress.

  29. Nope. I'm thinking they wouldn't do much for me. ;) However, isn't it against the law or something to not pick drop-dead-gorgeous women to win those things?!?! So I'm assuming they would be considered "ok" in your book to escort.

  30. good to know you are on the rally for Cherries!
    If cherries are offered at the grocer or fruit stand I will eat them raw, I will eat them in a pie, I will eat them in a coke, I will eat them on a bear claw, I will eat them on the phone, I will eat them here or there, I will eat them anywhere, I like cherries too, Bone!
    my rhyme sucks cherries!