Tuesday Trivia: Cherry Edition

Cherries are in season and we as Dietitians couldn’t be more excited. We love to throw them in everything from smoothies, to salads to a demi glaze sauce for steak. So to kick off cherry season outside of recipes (which we have plenty of!), here are some fun facts about them: 


  1. There are more than 1000 varieties of cherries, although only around 20 are used and sold to consumers.
  2. Washington, Oregon, and California produce 94% of America’s sweet cherries.
  3. The country of Turkey produces the most cherries worldwide, however you can find orchards across the entire Mediterranean region.
  4. Cherry trees don’t start producing cherries until they’re anywhere from 4-7 years old depending on the species. 
  5. Cherry trees begin blooming in April and produce cherries throughout the summer with June being the peak harvesting time in the United States.
  6. Wild cherry trees can grow up to 80 feet tall.
  7. Cherries are in the rose family which includes apples, pears, peaches, almonds, plums and apricots.
  8. Cherries in the United States are harvested using a machine that shakes the tree until the cherries fall off.
  9. In Japan, some hand-picked cherries can cost almost $10 per cherry.
  10. One cherry tree can produce up to 150 pounds of cherries.
  11. Cherries are full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C making them great for your immune system as well as skin, heart, and gut health.
  12. Cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds such as beta-carotene, anthocyanins, and vitamin C.
  13. Cherries contain polyphenols which support overall health and the immune system.
  14. The potent polyphenol content in cherries may help fight cellular damage and may protect against certain cancers.
  15. Research has found eating cherries may reduce gout and arthritis symptoms, possibly from their anti-inflammatory compounds.
  16. Even though sweet cherries are typically sold by themselves and eaten whole while tart cherries are often used in pies and baking, both have a similar nutritional makeup.
  17. Sweet cherries taste sweet and tend to be dark red to black in color while tart cherries are lighter in color and taste more sour.
  18. Tart cherry juice is a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
  19. Some research has shown faster recovery times in athletes when drinking 2 ounces of tart cherry juice for 8 days.
  20. Tart cherry juice contains tryptophan which is a precursor to melatonin and may improve sleep quality.

Here some of our top favorite cherry recipes:

Pickled Cherries

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Stuffed Cherry and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin