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.
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..."