What is the average shelf life of a cherry? How long do cherries last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store cherries to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:
Shelf Life of Cherries
|Raw||-||5-7 Days||9-12 Months|
|Dried||9-12 Months||9-12 Months||12-24 Months|
Shelf Life of Cherries
Cherries have a bright red color with a pit in the center. The fruit has a sweet and tangy taste with a firm texture and a slight aroma. Cherries are mainly used in desserts as a topping, to add color to the dish, or as an ingredient. The tart taste of the fruit means that the right balance is needed in proportion to other ingredients for the full cherry experience. The shelf life of cherries is mainly dependent on how they were grown, plucked, and processed. Store bought cherries have a shelf life between two days and eight months. On the counter, cherries will last for about two to three days. Buy cherries with a sell-by date that is at least five days away from the date of purchase.
The easiest way to figure out the freshness of the fruit is by the odor. Cherries give off a very subtly sweet aroma. A strong aroma is a sign that things are about to go bad. The color of the fruit should be bright red and uniform. A change in color on one cherry means that the pulp will lose its firmness and the cherry will start to rot. Cherries have a firm texture, but make sure you are not squeezing it all the way to the pit. If there are any stems on the cherries, they should be erect and rigid. This shows that the water content inside the fruit has not started to drop.
In colder temperatures, cherries can be left on the counter. If the temperature of the room is the same as the fridge, the cherries will last around ten days. The maximum time cherries remain fresh in the fridge is ten days. Keeping them in the fridge makes sure the cherries will stick close to the ten-day mark, as the temperature remains consistent. Since cherries have a seed in the center, freezing won’t ruin the shape or the flavor of the fruit. The pit prevents the fruit from being squished, and it prevents the nutrients inside from settling at the bottom. The skin on cherries is not very tough but is protective. For this reason, they can be frozen without worrying about the skin rupturing.
How to Handle Cherries
Removing the pit from cherries can be done by using three methods. The first is to simply pry the fruit away from the seed, which will ruin the shape but won’t affect the flavor in any way. The second method is to make an X right above where the stem is attached and gently opening the incision, then removing the seed; the cherry will keep a slightly better shape. The third method is purchasing a pit remover, which works great if you plan on using the cherry as a visual element.
Cooking with Cherries
Before you begin cooking with cherries, wash them and remove the stems. You don’t have to let the cherries dry, but a good rinsing to remove all the dirt and grime is vital. Cherries can be cooked or baked. To make cherry jam, the fruit needs to have the pits removed and the pulp blended into a fine, almost paste-like consistency. The ratio of fruit to sugar is 1:1, meaning equal part sugar mixed with equal part fruit. Frozen cherries can be topping for a dessert, yogurt, or ice cream. Better yet, you can eat them raw to enjoy the tart taste.