The Napoleon cherry, also known as the Royal Ann or Queen Ann, is a sweet cherry used for desserts and making maraschino cherries. Like Rainer cherries, Napoleon cherries are considered in the “sweet” category, although they are a bit tart, too (just not overwhelmingly so). People tend to eat them raw because of their delicious taste. Napoleon cherries are rather large and are usually a light red/pink color (sometimes they even look yellow), closely resembling Rainier cherries, which can lead to a lot of confusion.
Napoleon cherries are most commonly grown in Oregon and Michigan. However, you can find fresh and canned in the United States. If you wish to grow these cherries, remember that, like most sweet cherry trees, they do not self-pollinate. They also need to grow better in areas with warm weather.
Why go with Napoleon cherries over other types of sweet cherries? Well, Napoleon cherries are perfect for canning. This is because they are rather large and juicy with firm skin; they do better through the canning process. This is one of the reasons Royal Ann cherries are used to make Maraschino cherries.
As is the case with other sweet types of cherries, Napoleon cherries do have health benefits. While these benefits are not as strong as with sour cherries, they are significant enough to mention. Cherries’ antioxidant properties have been known to reduce cancer risk in those who consume them regularly. With sweet cherries like the Napoleon, you want to ensure you’re not overdoing it on the sugar intake. Napoleon cherries also contain vitamin C, which acts as a boost for your immune system.