Friday, September 07, 2012

History of sour cherries

Prunus cerasus, the sour cherry or tart cherry is widely used for canning and processing to make jams, preserves and pies.

The word ‘cherry’ evolved from the medieval Latin ceresia, which eventually became cerise in French. It was distributed through Europe by the Romans in 100 AD.

The sour cherry is an allotetraploid between the sweet cherry and the ground cherry, Prunus fruticosa Pallas which is native to extreme western Asia and eastern Europe.

Sour cherry together with sweet cherry were introduced to America in the 1600’s by early settlers in the Northeast and later were distributed into states such as Virginia and Carolina. Then it expanded into the Midwest and finally to the Pacific Coast.

The sour cherry industry began in the mid-nineteenth century and is centered in Michigan. Montmorency, a 400 year old French variety, makes up most of the United States sour cherry industry.
History of sour cherries