LANSING, Mich. (PRNewswire) — American palates are indicating a new appreciation for a combination of sweet and tart tastes. In fact, while sweet still ranks third among America's favorite flavors, tangy is now 5th (up from 6th) and sour 9th (up from 10th). It's no coincidence that tart cherries – with their unique sweet-tart taste – are showing up in more new products and menu items.(1)
Restaurateur Michael Moorman, owner of popular cafe m.henry and recently opened m.henrietta in Chicago, says he's been using tart cherries as a featured ingredient in everything from salads to sauces to baked goods. One of the cafe's signature items is their Sour Cherry Granola, which features dried tart cherries. "We use tart cherries for their flavor and the added value that they bring to a dish. They're plumper and moister than most other dried fruits, so they offer greater appeal to our customers."
Moorman adds that tart cherries are an ideal choice because they're highly versatile and available year-round, in dried, juice and frozen forms. "Tart cherries have a distinctive enough flavor to stand up as a featured ingredient, but are also subtle enough to complement other flavors." Coupled with their eye-popping, bright red color, tart cherries offer a winning combination unmatched by any other Super Fruit.
Beyond the restaurant menu, tart cherries are outfitting store shelves in everything from granola bars to pre-made salad mixes to cereals, making it easy for everyone to incorporate this versatile Super Fruit into the daily diet.
According to the Food Channel's "Top Ten Beverage Trends 2011," one of the hottest ways to use Super Fruit juices—such as tart cherry juice— is to mix them with beers and spirits. This gives them a healthy twist, adds color and provides a unique flavor.(2) In her 2011 trends report, wine and spirits expert Kara Newman cited, "cherry will be the new pomegranate," when it comes to adding new flavors.(3) Mixologist Charles Joly of Chicago's Drawing Room livens up cocktail hour by mixing tart cherry juice with whiskey for The Cherry Club Cocktail (recipe available at www.choosecherries.com).
Tart Cherries Add RED Hot Holiday Appeal
It's easy for anyone to get in the holiday spirit with tart cherries, according to food blogger and photographer Matt Armendariz of MattBites.com. Armendariz says tart cherries are always on the top of his holiday shopping list. "The holidays are the time to really elevate the menu, and adding tart cherries to any holiday favorite instantly ups the appeal."
Matt shared some of his favorite ways to add tart cherries to holiday fare –easy for anyone to do:
- Red hot mulled wine. Simmer a full-bodied red wine and a splash of tart cherry juice with cloves, a cinnamon stick, some orange slices and dried tart cherries. This also works great with apple cider.
- Roast chicken with red. Roast a chicken with chicken stock, layering cippolini onions, fingerling potatoes, garlic and a handful of dried tart cherries around it before putting it into the oven. "It couldn't be easier to do, and the tart cherries provide a delicious contrast to the warm roasted flavors of the potatoes and chicken," said Armendariz.
Visit www.choosecherries.com or facebook.com/choosecherries for more recipes and tips to inspire you to Go Red Instead with tart cherries.
The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) is an organization funded by North American tart cherry growers and processors. CMI's mission is to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development and research. For more information on the science supporting the unique health benefits of cherries and for cherry recipes and menu ideas, visit www.choosecherries.com.
The Cherry Marketing Institute is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion or disability.
1. Technomic, 2011. MarketBriefing. Technomic Information Services. Chicago, IL. www.technomic.com
2. The Food Channel, in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International. http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/top-ten-beverage-trends-2011/
SOURCE Cherry Marketing Institute