There are a few indispensable icons of summer, and for me, cherries are on the top of the list. While cherries start to appear in stores as early as April, June and July are peak months to enjoy multiple varieties and the sweetest flavor.
While bright red fruit comes to mind when people think about cherries, this juicy fruit comes in several shapes and sizes. If you get a chance, try to taste each over the course of the summer:
With cherries, size matters. Check for a bright green stem, then give them a feel to check that they are firm with no soft spots. But the best way to pick a good cherry is to taste them.
During peak season, stores offer fantastic deals on cherries. Don't be afraid to grab more than you can eat in a few days — cherries freeze beautifully. Make sure to pit them (here' are four ways) before freezing.
Check out the slideshow for some summer recipes starring cherries.
— James Parker, global associate perishables coordinator for Whole Foods Market