Cherry cultivation dates back to before 300 B.C.. The common cherry tree, Prunus avium, is native to the temperate areas of eastern Europe and western Asia and is part of the Rose family. Its name comes originally from the Greek, and in Latin means "of or for the birds", due to the birds' obvious love of the fruit. The English word cherry originates from the Assyrian karsu and Greek kerasos. The tree was beloved by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans both for its beautiful flowers and its versatile fruit. When it comes to cooking cherries, the first things that spring to mind are baked desserts tarts & crumbles, crisps & clafoutis that is, if you can keep from eating them all first! Pure almond extract is a natural companion to cherries. Less than 1/4 teaspoon added to cherry mixtures really brightens the cherry flavor. Dairy products also bring out the mild tart flavors of cherries, particularly sweet cream, ricotta cheese, and mascarpone.
Storage & Handling: Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and wash just before eating. Before eating fresh sweet cherries, leave them out on the counter for a few hours as the flavor is much better at room temperature. Fresh cherries should be consumed within two to four days. Organic produce should not be stored with non-organic produce.