Life is a Cherry

Growing season is in full swing, and yesterday I purchased a bunch of fresh fruit: peaches, plums, watermelon, and a favorite of mine, Rainier cherries. Since cherry is a common descriptor of red wine, I’m interested in getting better aquatinted with this tasty fruit. Sure, I’ve eaten cherries all my life, but yesterday I wondered whether or not I’d ever really tasted them. Probably not, I decided, so now my goal is to slow down and take time to truly taste the foods I’m eating.

Popping a cherry in my mouth, I bite down to split open the fruit and remove the seed. The fleshy pulp crunches as I chew, and a refreshing sweetness floods my tastebuds. The combination of tart and sweet is irresistible, and before I know what’s happened, I’ve swallowed the cherry.

So I try another. This time I split the cherry in half, then smell the pulp inside. To my nose, it smells slightly sweet but mostly like wet grass. I’ve heard that 90% of taste is also about smell, yet as I place the fruit in my mouth, I’m still a little surprised not to taste grass. Instead, the cherry comes alive with juicy sweetness, and the acid makes my mouth water. After I swallow, a pleasant tanginess lingers in my mouth. I keep eating cherries until I’ve finished a hand full.

After today’s cherry tasting experiment, I have a better understanding of the sensory experience of cherries. But I’m sure each variety has its own subtle flavor profile. There are wild cherries, choke cherries, sour cherries, and even black cherries. Also, when using descriptors for wine, I’d like to know the difference between fresh and processed cherries, like cherry jam, candied cherries, even baked cherry pie. This could get interesting . . . and tasty!

8 thoughts on “Life is a Cherry

  1. Thank you Peter! Oh and yes, lost cherries *wink, wink, nudge, nudge, . . .*

  2. I love the way you described your taste experiment. And your watercolor cherries are amazing – I can practically taste them. If you haven’t tried Rainiers, do so. And try a blind taste test on someone with Rainiers and typical red sweet cherries.

  3. Thanks Jean! Yes, these cherries were Rainier and I like your idea of blind tasting them against regular bing cherries. I suppose I’d really have to use a blind fold too since visually they are easy to tell apart!

  4. Nice one, Richard! Blackberries are just coming in here. I need to grab a sketch or two of some… then eat ’em. 🙂

  5. Thanks Steven! I’m with you, the blackberries are just starting to turn color and I can’t wait to start chowing down!

  6. I love the way your colors blend into each other. I think what you say about slowing down to taste is similar to learning to see – we don’t always notice what’s around us.

  7. Thanks Cheryl! I total agree with you that learning to taste is a lot like learning to see. Besides, the more I learn to appreciate the world around me, the more I appriciate life!

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