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Chelan Cherry

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Sweet CherriesWhile Chelan cherries are very similar to Bing cherries due to their sweetness, dark red color, and cultivation in the same area, the Chelan cherries ripen nearly two weeks before Bing cherries do. As a result, Chelan cherries can be cross-pollinated by other types of cherries, such as:

  • Rainier cherries
  • Bing cherries
  • Van cherries

Chelan cherries were developed by the researcher Dr. Tom Toyama and released by Dr. Ed Proebsting at Washington State University in the ’90s as a hybrid cherry. Although at first-glance they seem to be the same as Bing cherries, they differ not only in ripeantioxidant-fruits.comng time, but also in that Chelan cherries are less likely to crack. Bing cherries tend to break open with heavy rainfall. Chelan types of cherries are also a little less sweet than Bing cherries are, although still rather sweet when compared to other types.

Chelan cherries ripen nearly two weeks before Bing cherries do. Click to Tweet

Like other types of cherries, the Chelan variety produces a whole host of health benefits. The health benefits of Chelan cherries include:

  • vitamin C content – helps the immune system
  • antioxidant properties (anthocyanin content) – reduces risk of cancer, can act as an inflammatory fruit

The combination of Chelan cherries’ vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, like other cherries, lower the risk of an outbreak of gout or arthritis in suffers, as well as reducing the likelihood of these problems developing in the first place. In other words, get to eating some Chelan cherries! Be sure not to go overboard with Chelan cherries if you have blood sugar problems.

What is a Chelan Cherry?

The Chelan Cherry is an early season cherry that was created by a researcher from Washington State University. The Chelan Cherry looks similar to the Bing Cherry and is one of the first cherries to be harvested in Washington as it’s an early season cherry. Chelan cherries are medium sized and dark red. Chelans are better than Bings as they ripen 10-12 days before the Bings do. Chelans are also less likely to produce cracked cherries or double fruit.

What Chelan Cherry tastes like…

Chelan Cherry has a similar flavor to the Bing Cherry, but not as sweet, but it’s still one of the sweeter cherry varieties. Chelan Cherries contain about 16% sugar and make for a great out of hand eating fruit.

When are Chelan Cherries in season?

Chelan Cherries ripen approximately 2 weeks before Bing Cherries ripen. You’ll find them out in California in late May, and in Washington in mid-late June. This can change depending upon the year of course.

A favorite Cherry Pitter to use…

If you’re a serious Cherry lover, consider getting yourself a cherry pitter. One of the best cherry pitters you can get is the kind that pits more than one cherry at a time. A favorite cherry pitter is definitely the one from Vantiyaus as it pits 6 cherries simultaneously.

Chelan Cherries health benefits…

Chelan Cherries are rich in Vitamin C, which helps the immune system and they’re also rich in antioxidant properties (anthocyanin) which acts as an inflammatory fruit and reduces the risk of cancer. If you have blood sugar problems, avoid going overboard with the Chelan Cherries.

Chelan Cherries are rich in Vitamin C, which helps the immune system and they’re also rich in antioxidant properties. Click to Tweet

The best types of Cherries

Bing Cherries

Bing cherries have a heart shape that’s distinct and it’s the variety that usually shows up first in national markets, as they’re the commercial sweet cherry. Bings are most popular in Washington. They are juicy, firm, and large and range from a rich red to a deep mahogany once they ripen.

Chelan Cherries

Also known as Black Cherries, ripen earlier than Bings (by up to 2 weeks in mid-June) and they grow in the Pacific Northwest. They also carry a sweet flavor and rich mahogany color. They have a longer shelf life as its less susceptible to rain cracking.

Lapins Cherries

Lapins are a cross between Stella and Vans varieties and they grow up to an inch in size with a flavorful and sweet taste, and deep, hardy red color. Lapins ripen about 2 weeks after the Bings ripen.

Rainier Cherries

Rainiers are the sweetheart variety, they’re yellow on the inside and out and have a splash of red blush. These two-toned, tasty cherries have a sweet, mild flavor with a hint of tartness. They’re named after the largest peak in Washington, Mount Rainier. Rainiers riper after Bings in June, and are usually available through August locally.

Tulare Cherries

Tulares are a lot tarter than most of the sweet varieties of cherries, but they still have the same appearance as the Chelan and Bing varieties. Tulares have a tangy aftertaste that is quite noticeable. Tulares ripen a week earlier than Bings and they grow in California.

Lambert Cherries

Lambert cherries are bright red in color and are large. They’re great for baking as their texture is maintained, they are also sweet enough to be eaten directly out of hand. Lamberts are available from mid-June to early August for the majority of Summer.

Cherry Nutritional Facts

One cup of raw cherries with pits weighs about 138g.

Protein : 1.4g

Sugars : 17.7g

Fiber : 3g

Fat : 0.3g

Sodium : 0mg

Carbohydrates : 22g

Calories : 87

Most of the carbohydrates in a cup of cherries comes from their natural sugars. Cherries are a food that’s low glycemic, coming under 55 on the glycemic index. A cup of cherries also has 3 grams of fiber. When cherries are dried and sweetened, or if they’re a different variety with added sugar, their glycemic index will obviously be higher. Cherries are also practically fat-free with a cup of cherries having less than ½ a gram of fat per cup. A cup of cherries constitute 1.5 grams of protein. They’re also a rich source or iron, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Reasons why cherries are expensive

They have a short season…

Whereas most fruits and vegetables have a longer season, the season for most of them means that the earlier they arrive the higher they’ll be priced. During the prime season, the prices would be lower.

They grow in select climates…

Cherries can only be grown in select areas, therefore they have a high demand. If you live in an area where there are many cherry farms and cherries are readily available, the prices tend to be cheaper than if you live in a cold climate where cherry trees can’t grow. Thus resulting in the concept of supply and demand when it comes to fruits.


If you want to eat organic cherries, you’ll spend significantly more money. Cherries are difficult to grow, and fungicide is used to prevent cherries from getting fungus if the season is rainy. When farmers use high quality fungicides, the cost of the cherries you’ll purchase is significantly impacted and increased.

Excessive Rain…

When there’s excessive rain, cherries have a weak crop, especially with the increased possibility for fungus. The size of your crop and quality will end up being reduced. When there are better conditions, you’ll notice the decrease in the price of cherries. When the conditions are poorer with increased rainfall, you’ll notice the pricing level increase.


Cherries are wanted all over the world, so the transportation of them costs quite a bit of money. Transportation is the biggest price we pay when it comes to cherries, as you’ll essentially be covering the cost of the cherries from the farm to the grocery store for us to purchase. Again, if you’re close to cherry farms the pricing could be less.

What are your favorite cherries? Have any questions about cherries. Ask in the comments below and we will try and answer them.

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