There’s not long to go until Victorian Cherries will be perfectly ripe for the picking and everyone can enjoy the adored red fruit. The season kicks off in November and the Cherry Trail will be open in time for restrictions easing.
The Victorian Cherry season runs from early-November until mid-January, with the peak season being in December. Across these months there are a variety of different Victorian Cherries to enjoy, so the cherry eaten at the start of the season will be different to the one eaten at the end – all the more reason to eat them all season long!
Some of the country’s most popular cherry varieties - Merchant, Bing, Regina, Lapin, Sweet Georgia, Sweetheart and Van - are grown in Victoria. The season begins in the Sunraysia/NW Victoria and northern regions and follows through to central Victoria and well-known areas in Melbourne surrounds.
Victorian Cherry season runs from early November to mid-January, the peak season being in December. The Goulburn Valley, Yarra Valley and Sunraysia regions are the major cherry production areas in Victoria. There are over 80 varieties of the Cherry but the predominant varieties found in Victoria are Merchant, Bing, Regina, Lapin, Sweet Georgia, Sweetheart and Van. These cherries are all medium to large with a dark ruby red skin and sweet rich taste.
This year, it is hoped that restrictions will ease in time for Victorians to visit the Cherry Trail. An opportunity to see eight orchards, buy farm-fresh Cherries from the on-site shop and even pick-your-own at some of the farms. It’s a great day out for families, couples or friends and a fantastic way to support Victorian farms from Sunraysia to Mornington Peninsula.
Cherries make the perfect snack, eaten on their own while out and about, at home or at school. They are also a great cooking ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes, adding flavour and richness to salads, salsas, sauces, dressings and desserts.
Of course, Cherries are an ideal gift too, especially around the festive season when they are mid-season and available in abundance. And is it really Christmas without a box of cherries at home?
Given that Cherries are fairly low calorie, contain 40% of recommended daily vitamin C and are packed full of antioxidants, they are a healthy choice. Cherries have even been linked to lowering inflammation in the body and reducing the risk of gout and gout attacks.
Cherries do not continue to ripen once picked, so snacking can begin immediately! They can be stored in the fridge in a bag or container for up to ten days, or frozen for up to six months when de-stoned.
Alison Jones, President of The Victorian Cherry Association said “Cherry farmers are looking forward to Victorians enjoying the incredible Cherries we are expecting this season.
“The last couple of years have been challenging but we hope by this summer we can enjoy some quality time with friends and family and we encourage people to visit the Cherry Trail and visit some of our beautiful orchards.
“I think the challenges we have faced have made us appreciate the smaller things in life and sharing great produce with loved ones is one of those things. Cherries remind us it is summer and that the festive season is near.”
Delicious Victorian Cherries are a summer staple, so everyone should ensure they are at the top of their grocery lists this season.
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