Cherries come in a wide range of shapes, colours and flavours. Ranging from red through to deep maroon and almost black in colour. Fresh cherries are delicious eaten as they are or added to fruit salads. Cherries work particularly well with chocolate and warming spices - cinnamon and cloves and star anise. Serve spiced cherry compote with rich meats, and add a dash of red wine vinegar for a tangy flavour. Their distinctive flavour makes them a good match with rich game, red meats and poultry
They can be poached and used in tarts or pies and are the essential ingredient in Black Forest gateau. Cherries are often combined with kirsch (a cherry liqueur) in recipes. When used for jam making leave the stones in for a delicious almond flavour, but be careful when eating! If you do want to stone them then use a cherry stoner - a blunt spike pushes the stone through the flesh, ensuring the shape and juices are retained. A cherry stoner can also be used for stoning olives too.