Tart vs Sweet Cherries

Due to Covid, we will not have U-Pick cherries available this year. If you read, "Challenges of Growing Fruits" blog, you may know that Kimmel cherries have also been affected by the cold winter and late spring frost. This year, the select amount of cherries produced will be harvested by our employees and frozen for purchase in our retail store. They are sold by the quart for $5.50, 5 lb. bags for $20, and 10 lb. bags for $35. All of the cherries grown at the orchard are a tart cherry variety called Montmorency, the most popular type of tart cherries. This is the cherry the community knows and loves, but how does it compare to a sweet cherry?


Tart cherries are bright red in color while sweet cherries tend to be darker red and sometimes even purple. Sweet cherries are also larger than tart cherries. Now, you probably already guessed another difference, the taste! Sweet cherries are obviously sweeter, as they contain more naturally occurring sugars. Because of this, these are often eaten fresh. The tartness in a tart cherry makes them a perfect addition to baked goods like muffins, pies, and cakes, resulting in their nickname of "pie cherries". Montmorency cherries are used for tart cherry juice, dried cherries, and even Kimmel's delicious cherry wine. Tart cherry juice is better to consume than sweet cherry juice, as there is a lower amount of sugar. Although sweet cherries are often eaten fresh, that doesn't stop us from eating the tart ones straight off the tree! 


Studies have shown that tart cherries, specifically Montmorency cherries, contain melatonin and help regulate sleep. If eaten regularly, they are even said to promote more restful, undisturbed sleep. We won't blame you for stocking up on this delicious fruit. 


Even though there are multiple differences between the types, both tart and sweet cherries provide many health benefits. Both cherries are unique, however, they help the body function properly and stay healthy. 


Alyssa Rosenbaum - Education and Food Safety Intern