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Cherries or sweet cherries, raw

The cherries, sweet cherries or wild cherries (Prunus avium) taste very sweet both raw and cooked. See also varieties such as cartilage cherries or heart cherri
Macronutrient carbohydrates 92.7%
Macronutrient proteins 6.14%
Macronutrient fats 1.16%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Cherries or sweet cherries ( Prunus avium L.) are the stone fruits that can be eaten raw and are derived from the wild bird cherry ( Prunus avium subsp. avium ). The best-known varieties are the wild cherry ( Prunus avium subsp. duracina ) and the heart cherry ( Prunus avium subsp. juliana ). In contrast to the sour cherry or cherry ( Prunus cerasus ), the flesh is sweet and in the wild forms slightly bittersweet. They are also called table cherries in the trade.

Use in the kitchen:

Cherries freshly picked from the tree still taste the best. But sweet cherries can also be cooked and used in a variety of dishes. In addition to being used in desserts and sweet dishes, for example as an ingredient in cakes, strudels and casseroles, sweet cherries can also be processed into compote, jam or juice.

The fresh fruit can also be enjoyed as a snack between meals or served as a healthy fruit salad or in your morning muesli (e.g. pea muesli ). However, cherries should always be pitted before eating.

Vegan recipe for cherry chutney:

Ingredients: 600 g sweet cherries (pitted), 85 g brown sugar , 2 cm ginger (grated), 1 small chili pepper , 2 tspblack pepper (ground), 80 ml white wine vinegar , 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico) , 2 tbsp white sugar , 1 red onion , some salt , some oil ( rapeseed oil ).

Preparation: Mix the washed, pitted cherries with ginger, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and pepper and leave to stand and steep for about 1 hour. Dice the onion and sauté in oil with finely chopped chili until translucent. Then add the white sugar and let it caramelize. Add the steeped cherries, stir briefly and deglaze with the white wine vinegar. Simmer everything on a low heat and stir frequently. After about an hour, puree and then reduce to the desired consistency. Season with a little salt. While still hot, fill into sterile jars, close and turn the screw-top jars upside down for about 5 minutes.

Chutneys get a special flavor if you don't eat them straight away, but wait about 3 weeks before enjoying them.

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy?

Sweet cherries are available in season, in June and July , at all supermarkets such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer etc. - also from regional production.

Prefer organically produced cherries (organic quality). Since the regulation in conventional fruit growing is that cherries for trade may have a maximum maggot infestation rate of 2%, the use of insecticides is often essential. The insecticides used (eg chlorate and dimethoate) have harmful effects on the environment and can also remain on the fruit and get into the fruit. 1

Found in the wild:

The wild form of the sweet cherry is the wild bird cherry ( Prunus avium subsp . avium ). The bird cherry can now be found in temperate Europe and southern Central Asia. However, it has also been naturalized in North Africa, southern Turkestan, the Indian subcontinent and eastern North America. As a heat-loving, semi-shade plant, the bird cherry is found in mixed forests at lower altitudes, on forest edges, stream banks, in hedges and field groves. 2 In the Alps, the bird cherry can grow at up to 1700 m and in the Caucasus at up to 2000 m above sea level.


Sweet cherries can only be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. If they are overripe or even slightly spoiled, they give off a slightly alcoholic aroma. This makes preserving this stone fruit particularly worthwhile.

Cherries can be frozen very well with or without stones. To do this, remove the stems and pat the washed cherries dry. Frozen cherries should be consumed after 6 months because otherwise they will lose too much vitamin.

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

The sweet cherry has an energy content of about 63 kcal per 100 g. The carbohydrate content makes up about 16%, of which 13% is sugar and 2.1% is fiber. There is hardly any fat or protein, and the water content is 82%. 3

The minerals contained are very diverse, but only present in small amounts. The highest content is potassium at around 222 mg/100g, similar to that in prickly pear (220 mg/100g) and honeydew melon (228 mg/100g). Potassium is an essential macronutrient and is found in most foods. Good sources of potassium are herbs (eg dried parsley has 2680 mg/100g), pulses and nuts (eg almonds have 730 mg/100g). 3 Potassium regulates the membrane potential in the body's cells, so it is responsible for cell volume and the regulation of water balance.

It also contains minerals such as copper , manganese , iron and magnesium .

Sweet cherries contain around 7 mg of vitamin C per 100g, which is not particularly high if you need around 100g per day. 4 Onions have the same vitamin C content. Better sources of the water-soluble vitamin include yellow bell peppers (184 mg/100g), blackcurrants (181 mg/100g) or herbs such as dried wild garlic (179 mg/100g). 3 Ascorbic acid is a radical scavenger and is therefore important for maintaining the human immune system.

Vitamin B 6 (pyridoxine) is also present in sweet cherries at 0.05 mg/100g. 3

Health aspects - effects:

Are cherries anti-inflammatory? The sweet stone fruits also contain bioactive substances (flavonoids) such as the light and temperature-sensitive anthocyanins (plant pigments) that have an antioxidant effect. An anti-inflammatory effect has been observed particularly in people suffering from rheumatism. These anti-inflammatory ingredients can also protect against various types of cancer such as stomach, colon, breast and prostate cancer. 5 Studies prove that the secondary plant substances in cherries have good bioavailability 6 and that the peel in particular is very rich in them. 7

The chlorogenic acids contained in cherries inhibit the absorption of sugar in the blood and can thus counteract diabetes. These acids also have blood pressure-lowering, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. 8 The high fructose content in sweet cherries is also generally well tolerated by diabetics. 9

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

The cherry stone contains hydrogen cyanide and is therefore not suitable for consumption in large quantities. If you accidentally swallow a cherry stone, it is by no means poisonous. The whole stone is indigestible and is excreted unchanged. However, you should be wary of recipes for homemade food supplements made from ground fruit stones. The amygdalin contained in it releases hydrogen cyanide during digestion, which can lead to acute poisoning in large quantities. Symptoms include cramps, vomiting and shortness of breath. 10

Are cherries good for the intestines? Cherries contain many different fruit acids, such as malic acid, quinic acid, shikimic acid and fumaric acid. They stimulate the appetite and digestion and thus help with constipation. However, some people react sensitively to larger quantities and complain of flatulence and even diarrhea. In general, it is important to wash the cherries well before eating them, as germs on the peel could also be the cause of stomach upset.

If you are fructose intolerant, you should always be careful with fruit and avoid cherries. The high fructose content can also lead to symptoms after eating sour cherries. Since cherries also contain sorbitol (sorbitol is a sugar alcohol), sorbitol intolerance can also cause stomach pain, flatulence or diarrhea.

Use as a medicinal plant:

Cherry stems are said to have an expectorant effect when brewed as a tea and to help with a bad cough. The tea is also said to help with weight loss. Even if cherry stems do have a dehydrating effect, caution should be taken when collecting cherry stems yourself. If they are not dried well, there is a risk of mold toxins. We therefore recommend that you seek advice from a pharmacy and purchase dried cherry stems there. 10

Folk medicine - natural medicine:

The cherry tree also plays an important role in folk medicine. Young leaves and flowers brewed as a tea are said to drain and purify the body. Cherry tree bark (processed into powder) is said to help with rheumatic diseases when rubbed in or used as a poultice. 11

Almost everyone knows that cherry stone pillows provide warmth and are an effective way to relieve tension or cramps. Cherry stone oil is also said to have a positive effect on spleen and urinary disorders.

Occurrence - Origin:

The cherry, actually the wild bird cherry, originally comes from a Turkish port city, Kerasos (now Giresun), from which it also takes its name. The import to Rome is dated back to around 74 BC. The Roman general Lucullus brought the valuable cultivated varieties of the cherry to Italy, from where they later spread further into northern Europe. 12 Turkey is still one of the most important growing countries for sweet cherries today, followed by the USA, Iran, Spain and Italy. In Germany, the cherry is the second most important fruit (after apples).

Cultivation - Harvest:

The sweet cherry, a fast-growing, winter-bare deciduous tree, thrives on fresh, alkaline, medium to deep loam and rubbish soils. Waterlogging, acidic and poor soils are not good for it at all, as this promotes a dreaded disease, gum flow. Cherry trees are frost-hardy and can reach an age of over 100 years in suitable locations. How tall can a cherry tree grow? Cherry trees can reach a height of up to 20 m. Which cherry tree you should plant in your own garden depends very much on the location and the size of the garden. There are also early and late ripening varieties.

Almost all sweet cherry varieties are cross-pollinated (as are apple and pear varieties), which means that they require a pollinator variety. Self-pollinating varieties are still very rare among sweet cherries, but are common among sour cherries, plums, mirabelles and greengages. The cherry is very picky when it comes to pollination. It is best to ask a garden center which pollination tree suits the cherry variety. 13

The flowering period of the wild cherry is from April to May. Harvesting begins in June, later varieties reach full maturity in July, some not until August. Cherries exposed to the sun ripen first, the further the cherries hang inside the tree, the later they ripen. Cherries are not climacteric, which means they do not ripen further. The fruit stalks can be easily removed from the tree for harvesting. It is important to pick the sweet cherries from the tree with the stalk, otherwise they will rot too quickly at the base of the stalk and will no longer be able to be stored. In addition, stalks that remain on the tree are said to be bad for the formation of flowers next year. 14

The most economically important pest is the cherry fruit fly ( Rhagoletis cerasi ), whose larvae develop in the fruits of wild cherries ( Prunus avium ), sour cherries ( Prunus cerasus ), honeysuckle ( Lonicera ), snowberries ( Symphoricarpos ) and black cherries ( Prunus padus ). In organic farming, environmentally friendly methods such as close-meshed nets, yellow traps, insect-damaging nematodes or fungi are common. 15 In this way, you as a consumer protect the environment and yourself from possible pesticide residues.

Systematics and subspecies:

Prunus avium is now divided into three varieties or subspecies (found as var. or subsp.): 2,16

  • The wild bird cherry or forest cherry ( Prunus avium L. subsp. avium ) is the wild or original family of the cultivated varieties. It has small leaves and small, black fruits with a diameter of less than one centimeter. The bittersweet pulp has little juice.
  • The cartilage cherry ( Prunus avium subsp. duracina (L.) Schübl. et G. Martens) is also called the Krachkirsche, Knubber or Knupper. It has very large leaves. The fruits are usually black-red, sometimes white. They are large, with a diameter of more than one centimeter. The yellow or red flesh is cartilaginous and firm, the juice is colorless.
  • The heart cherry or soft cherry ( Prunus avium subsp. juliana (L.) Schübl. et G. Martens) has significantly larger leaves than the wild form. The fruits are black-red, yellow or white and very large, with a diameter of more than one centimeter. The red to black-red flesh is soft and very juicy, and the juice is dark red.

Danger of confusion:

It seems almost impossible for adults to confuse sweet cherries with deadly nightshade ( Atropa belladonna ). However, the black fruit can be just as attractive to children. The fruits of the nightshade plant ripen between August and October and therefore do not actually fall in the cherry harvest season. The poisonous ingredients are: atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine (scopolamine) and other alkaloids. First, dry mouth, scratchy throat and difficulty swallowing appear, then thirst, vomiting, headaches and dizziness follow. Delusions with cramps follow and it can even be fatal after 3 to 15 hours. 17 Just three berries can cause symptoms of poisoning in children such as dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, reddening of the skin or hallucinations.

In herbal medicine, belladonna is often used to treat gastrointestinal diseases or bronchial asthma. However, self-experimentation is strongly discouraged! 17

Animal protection - species protection - animal welfare:

The nectar-bearing disc flowers smell faintly of honey and are very attractive to bees. The cherry nectar is easily accessible to bees and the cherry blossoms also provide plenty of pollen. The high sugar content in the nectar of the cherry blossom makes the sweet cherry an important source of nectar for beekeepers. 18

General information:

The wild cherry belongs to the genus Prunus , within the rose family (Rosaceae). This also includes plums, peaches, apricots and almonds. Since the stone is in the flesh, the cherry is a stone fruit.

Alternative names:

The name Prunus avium comes from the Swedish botanist and doctor Carl von Linné and dates back to 1755, he founded the binary nomenclature. Prunus stands for the Latin name for plum, avium comes from the Latin word avis (bird). In Swedish, the cherry tree is called "Fagelbär" (rowanberry). The first name for the cherry was: Prunus cerasus var. actiana L. A German botanist, Conrad Moench, incorrectly described the cherry in 1794 as Cerasus avium L. Other invalid names are Cerasus dulcis and Cerasus avium var. sylvestris . 2

In English, Prunus avium is known as wild cherry, sweet cherry or gean. 19


On December 4th (St. Barbara's Day), branches are cut from the bird cherry and placed in a vase in a warm room. The St. Barbara's branches bloom before Christmas.

Wikipedia derives the phrase "it's not good to eat cherries with someone" from the proverb "It's not good to eat cherries with high lords, they spit the stones in your face" or "If you want to eat cherries with lords, they'll throw the stalks in your eyes". These proverbs, which originate from the Middle Ages, are intended to warn against the whims of the rulers of the time.

Literature - Sources:

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