One of the more popular summer posts on my blog has been my post on Queen Anne cherries that I wrote back in 2010. That’s like another life time ago in the high tech blogging world. I thought it was appropriate to do another one. I picked up some fresh Queen Anne cherries at the farmer’s market the day before Independence Day. It’s actually the first time I have had them since that original post 4 years ago.
The Queen Anne cherry has been around for a long time. Before there was the Bing or the Rainier, Queen Anne was the “it” cherry. It also has been referred to as Napoleon, Napoleon Bigarreau, or Royal Anne. It at least goes all the way back until 1847.
When are Queen Anne Cherries in Season?
In some ways there might be two seasons. More on that in a moment. The fresh Queen Anne season comes in the summer. Queen Anne cherries ripen in early July in places like Michigan. A bit earlier in Washington and California. Generally if you are going to find them fresh look around the 4th of July. The season is not long lasting as by the end of the month they should be gone.
You might see the name Queen Anne pop up again during the Christmas season. Queen Anne is a brand of chocolate covered cherry cordials. I would think they are actually Queen Anne cherries. I am checking with the company to confirm. Cordials cherries contain a preserved cherry and I know preserved cherries like maraschino cherries are made from Queen Anne cherries that have been soaked in a brine solution with red food coloring.
How Do Queen Anne Differ from Rainier Cherries?
Appearance wise they look a lot alike. In my experience Queen Anne are not as sweet as Rainiers, they have more tartness to them.
How to Find Queen Anne Cherries
I have yet to find a grocery store that sells them. The farmer’s market is your best source. I have found them at several markets. I hear they sometimes are labeled as Rainiers or blush cherries in the store as that name is more popular nowadays than Queen Anne.
You can also find them canned year round from Oregon Fruit using the Royal Anne name. Just check whether canned fruit is in your local grocery store, they are pretty easy to find.