Rainer Sweet Cherry

Cherries Rainer1
Cherries Rainer
Rainer cherries

Not all cherries are created cherry red. Ranier is a yellow and red skinned cherry that it is one of the sweetest cherries you will ever taste.

There are two cherry varieties with patially yellow or golden skins: Rainer and Royal Ann. Royal Ann–sometimes called Napoleon–is golden yellow blushed with red. Rainer is a bit more eye-popping, bi-colored bright yellow and cherry-red skinned.

Both Rainer and Royal Ann are sweet cherries, the type of cherries you can eat without cooking. Sweet cherries can be be added raw to fruits salads, ice cream sundaes, yogurts, sorbets, and custards, or cooked in compotes, tarts, pies, flans, soufflés, and clafoutis.

Rainer is unlikely to make it from the farm stand to the kitchen. This is a sweet cherry you will enjoy eating out of hand. You can use a paring knife to slit the Rainer from north to south then pull it apart, popping out the pit. The fastest way to enjoy the Raineer is to simply let your teeth and tongue do the work.

Rainer is a hybrid between the Bing and Van cherries, two of the sweetest sweet cherries out there. Rainer is sweeter than Bing, though considered a bit more fragile. Rainer has a creamy, yellow flesh that fades to a nearly white heart. Rainer is juicy and its sweetness is on the mild side.

Royal Ann has a sweet tart flavor.

Sweet cherries come to market from May to early July in the Northern Hemispher, in December in the Southern Hemisphere. when selecting cherries, choose cherries that are brightly colored, plump, and shiny. The best cherries for eating out of hand will be firm but not hard.

Prepare. Wash, do not soak cherries. For compotes and fruit salads remove fresh cherry stems then remove the pits with a cherry pitter or cut the cherry in half with a paring knife and remove the stone or make an incision at the top of the cherry tip and remove the stone.

Store. Sweet cherries will keep in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days. Sour cherries will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Keep cherries away from strong smelling foods; they will absorb odor and lose flavor. Cherries stored at room temperature will spoil rapidly.

Cherries have a flavor affinity for almonds, chocolate, cinnamon, custard, duck, goose, kirsch, pork, poultry, red wine, sour cream, and yogurt.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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