National Rainier Cherry Day

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National Rainier Cherry Day
United States
National Rainier Cherry Day

On July 11th, National Rainier Cherry Day pays tribute to the delectable cherry variety named after Mount Rainier. This distinctive cherry was crafted in 1952 by Harry Fogle of Washington State University through the cross-breeding of Bing and Van cherry varieties. Let's celebrate the sweetness of Rainier cherries and their unique legacy with #RainierCherryDay!

Characteristics of Rainier Cherries

  1. Appearance: Rainier cherries are distinguished by their large size, golden-yellow color with a red blush, and firm texture.
  2. Flavor: They are known for their sweet flavor, often considered less tart than other cherry varieties.
  3. Growing Season: Rainier cherries are typically harvested from late June through early August, making their availability limited to a few weeks each summer.

Celebrations and Activities

National Rainier Cherry Day is celebrated with various activities that highlight the enjoyment and versatility of Rainier cherries:

  1. Eating Fresh Cherries: Enjoying Rainier cherries fresh as a healthy and delicious snack.
  2. Cooking and Baking: Incorporating Rainier cherries into various recipes, such as pies, tarts, salads, and desserts.
  3. Visiting Orchards: Visiting local orchards or farmers' markets to purchase fresh Rainier cherries and support local growers.
  4. Sharing Recipes: Sharing favorite Rainier cherry recipes on social media, blogs, and community boards using hashtags like #RainierCherryDay and #NationalRainierCherryDay.
  5. Creative Dishes: Experimenting with new recipes that feature Rainier cherries in both sweet and savory dishes.

How to Celebrate

  1. Enjoy Fresh Rainier Cherries: Purchase a bag of Rainier cherries and enjoy them fresh, savoring their sweet flavor.
  2. Visit a Farmers' Market: Support local farmers by buying Rainier cherries from a farmers' market or local orchard.
  3. Bake with Cherries: Make a cherry pie, tart, or other baked goods using Rainier cherries.
  4. Create a Cherry Salad: Add Rainier cherries to a summer salad for a burst of sweetness and color.
  5. Share on Social Media: Post pictures and recipes of your Rainier cherry creations on social media to inspire others.
  6. Host a Cherry Tasting Party: Invite friends and family over for a cherry tasting party, featuring Rainier cherries and other cherry varieties.

Simple Rainier Cherry Recipes

Rainier Cherry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh Rainier cherries, pitted and halved
  • 4 cups mixed greens (such as arugula, spinach, and lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, pitted and halved Rainier cherries, crumbled cheese, and sliced almonds.
  2. Dress the Salad: Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.
  3. Serve: Serve immediately and enjoy the fresh, sweet, and tangy flavors.

Rainier Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh Rainier cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 prepared pie crust (store-bought or homemade)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare the Filling: In a bowl, combine the pitted Rainier cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mix well to coat the cherries.
  3. Fill the Pie Crust: Roll out the pie crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Pour the cherry mixture into the crust.
  4. Bake the Pie: Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  5. Cool and Serve: Allow the pie to cool before slicing and serving.

Significance of National Rainier Cherry Day

National Rainier Cherry Day is significant because it celebrates a unique and beloved fruit that is available for only a short period each year. By highlighting Rainier cherries, the observance encourages people to appreciate the seasonal produce and enjoy the exceptional flavor of this special cherry variety.

The day also supports local agriculture and farmers who grow Rainier cherries, promoting the importance of buying and enjoying locally sourced produce. Through eating fresh cherries, cooking, baking, and sharing recipes, National Rainier Cherry Day fosters a sense of community and shared enjoyment of one of summer's sweetest treats.