Originally published 2015, updated April 2022.
It can be quite tricky to know what to look for when picking out fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, and sweet cherries are no exception! It’s important to know how to choose cherries at the store, and be able to store cherries properly at home. Use these tips when picking out your cherries the next time you’re at the market so you can enjoy the best eating experience.
Cherry color fluctuates depending on the varietal, but make sure to always select cherries that are dark for their variety. The glossiest, darkest reds with dark saturation and the greenest stems typically ensure the freshest quality, so pick a bunch that is vibrant in color.
The Bigger, The Better:
Plump, firm cherries are tastier! Also, choose cherries that are firm to the touch. Smaller, softer cherries are indicative of improper storage, or aging fruit.
Keep Cherries Cool:
Once you’ve chosen the perfect cherries, make sure to store them in the refrigerator. Storing cherries in a cool environment preserves their taste and is the best way to keep your cherries fresh and ready to eat. Be sure to store them away from strong-smelling foods so that the odors do not get transferred to your cherries!
Rinse and Snack:
Many people choose to rinse their fruit as soon as they bring it home from the grocery store. However, the moisture from washing can spoil cherries quicker. Try rinsing your cherries just before eating them to extend their shelf life.
Eat or Freeze:
Since cherries are best when fresh, don’t hesitate to eat them fast! They should last 5-7 days in the refrigerator, but are very perishable and should be eaten quickly. If you don’t plan on finishing your cherries right away, try freezing them for later or preserving them.
We hope these tips help you learn how to choose cherries and store them for a flavorful season!