Can we get a WHOO HOO that cherry season is finally in full bloom! The cold winter in the Pacific Northwest delayed things a bit this year, but it was definitely worth the wait. We recently got our own shipment of Rainier Cherries from the Northwest Cherry Growers and I was over the moon. For one, the Rainier is my all time favorite cherry, and secondly, they were super duper tasty. If you like cherries but aren’t quite sure of the different types and flavor profiles check out the information below from the Northwest Growers…
The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers, born at Washington State University in 1952 and celebrated each year on July 11 as National Rainier Cherry Day. Other popular varieties include the deep juicy sweet Tietons and heart-shaped Chelans on the shelves now, and late-season Lapins, dark Skeenas, and bright red Sweethearts coming over the next few weeks. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (and its many sub-varieties), consumers can typically spot sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.
Now that you are up to speed, check out some of Urban Swank’s favorite cherry treats in the city!
This cherry pie has been the talk of the town since The Pit Room opened its doors! Folks like to say, “Their cherry pie holds its own up against all the delicious BBQ they serve!” After my first bite, I knew exactly what they meant. It is perfectly tart and sweet, and that streusel top takes it to the next level. It is now the cherry pie in which all other cherry pies will be measured.
Many pie enthusiasts feel that you must add ice cream on the top of pie for it to reach its full “slap yo momma good” potential! I’m not sure if I agree with them when it comes to cherry pies in Houston though. Reason being, if I’m craving cherry pie and ice cream I just make a stop at Petite Sweets for their Cherry Pie Ice Cream. This ice cream flavor is made with a whole cherry pie! The key is they start with a good tasting pie, and the delicious ice cream, it’s so damn good, so that equals a winning combination.
Sure we know that bartender owner Alba Huerta and her team can make some good julep cocktails, but please don’t limit these amazingly talented spirit-mixing bad asses to just that! For instance, the Cherry Bounce Sour is one of the most popular drinks on the menu, and yes it is made with cherries so even better for us (since this article is kinda about cherries). The ingredients are simple- Cherry Bounce, Corn Whiskey, Lemon, Turbinado, Angostura Bitters and Egg White, but they make a big and bold statement. If you are wondering what’s cherry bounce, it’s a liqueur made by mixing cherries, sugar, and whiskey (or brandy). Julep makes their own in house. After having one of these you may never want a plain whiskey sour EVA again – don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Let me just take a moment to gush over the deliciousness of their doughs and pastries; I’m talking next level good! Now add in fresh cherry filling, and you have something that usually only lives in food lovers dreams. They have some other fruits options available, but try adding seasonal fruits into rotation when they can.
Insider Tip: When they have extra cherry mixture, they use it to make a cherry sauce for the donuts.
What are some of your favorite cherry treats in the city?
~Felice “Swanky Girl” Sloan