Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Cherry Memory

This past week I've been enjoying some bing cherries as part of my lunch. It's part of my eat-more-healthy plan and a way to try to get another serving of fruit and vegetables in every day. I bring a small tupperware full with them - holding about a dozen or so. Just enough to savor that taste.

While eating them, my mind took me back to the time when I was a kid growing up in Dunkirk, NY. During the summer, my father and I often took little drives in the evenings just before the sun went down and things started to cool off. Often we'd head up Route 60 a mile or so and then turn down into the nearby village of Fredonia. Usually we'd end up stopping some place like Aldritch's Dairy or Farmer Parker's to get some ice cream. The later also was adjacent to some orchards and you could always pick up fresh fruit there as well. This is usually the place we got bing cherries.

Now, I've never been a big fan of maraschino cherries - the kind that tend to come on top of ice cream sundaes or served with drinks. I think they're really too sweet. And that glowing red color. Is that natural? If so, why does it rub off onto the whipped cream so? Something doesn't seem right there. By the same token, I never liked cherry soda - again too sweet. And I wasn't fond of cherry ice cream either. I was okay, however, with cherry Kool-Aid or Funny Face drink mix, but either of those probably didn't have so much real cherries in it.

Bing cherries, I found, seemed to have a more subdued flavor. Like their dark purple color, they have a more meaty, fulfilling taste to them. They were sweet without being too sweet. We always had them at our house as well as over at my grandparents' place during the summer time. As a kid, I'd eat them by the dish-full - a lot of times eating way more in one sitting than I probably should. I really couldn't help it since they were just so good. I always would rather have fruit than candy if given the choice, and these were certainly way better than chocolate to me (both in taste and healthy for the diet).

No comments: