Are Rainier cherries your all time favorite cherry? Than you got to give the Orondo Ruby cherry a try. Sweeter and more firm than Rainier cherries!
Some say life is a bowl of cherries.
It means that life is very pleasant.
I know when I have a big bowl of cherries before me I am feeling pretty darn good.
It's cherry season, folks. Time to bring out the bowls. You could fill them with the standard of the industry - dark red cherries. Who doesn't like a good Bing. But there is a lot more out there that you need to search out for.
Your life can be even more fruity if you try Orondo Ruby.
Back in 2011 I was first starting to get my feet wet with cherries. I had tried my first Rainier cherry the year before. I liked their sweetness and the fact that they don't stain your hands or clothes like darker varieties of cherries do - a big plus when you have kids.
In July of that year I was shopping at my local Kroger and I spotted some cherries that looked like Rainiers but had a different name on them. I had to buy them and try them out of course.
Here is a photo of my first container of Orondo Ruby cherries -
I fell in love with them at first bite. And what a bite it was - super crisp skin surrounding a cherry that is sweet but not without the acidic that gives fruit a delicious, balanced flavor.
Origin of Orondo Ruby
Orondo Ruby was a chance discovery.
Marcus Griggs of G&C farms came across a tree in his Rainier cherry orchard that was producing fruit not quite like his Rainier cherries. These cherries had more intense red color to them. The skin was more crisp and the flavor was sweeter. This lucky discovery became the Orondo Ruby, named after the area in which the cherry orchard is.
This area is just beautiful and a great place to grow cherries. I want to go there right now! Can you imagine walking through that orchard, enjoying the crisp area, while plucking the Orondo Ruby right from the tree and into your mouth. Now that my friends is my idea of a good life.
Difference Between Orondo Ruby and Rainier
From a looks standpoint, Orondo Ruby is a bright ruby red color with some gold coloring. The Rainier is not as bright of a red color and tends to have more of the gold undertone. Ornondo ruby is a Rainier with the color intensity turned up. In terms of what's inside the cherry - it is both sweeter than Rainier as well as being more acidic. That is the perfect recipe for more flavor. If you are a Rainier fan you gotta try Orondo Ruby.
When in Season
Picking usually begins in late June. They hit stores shelves in early July.
They have a really good shelf life as compared to cherries, so they can last longer at the grocery store. There is a limited supply though. They are only grown on the Griggs family orchards and distributed by Chelan Fresh. I love that they are a family thing.
Look for them in July and don't hesitate to pick them up when you see them as they might be gone the next time.
Where to Find
Kroger has been my number one source over the years for Orondo Ruby. I have also heard they are available at QFC stores in the Pacific Northwest as well as Safeway.
If you find Orondo Ruby cherries in you area, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, telling us the store and the city and what you think about them.