Cherries are an iconic Michigan food. Michigan cherries fall into two general categories: tart and sweet. Nearly all (98%) of the tart cherries grown in the U.S. are one variety, Montmorency, and they are primarily processed by drying, freezing or canning. Michigan also produces sweet cherries, which are generally consumed fresh, though some are frozen or canned.
The Dried and Frozen Michigan Cherry Toolkit provides resources to help make it easier for institutions to find, buy and use this versatile food. Learn how to purchase frozen or dried Michigan cherries from distributors or directly from farmers, find recipes that have been tested and perfected by food service staff members, and use the marketing materials to share the results of your efforts with staff members, eaters and communities. Then track your local purchases through the Cultivate Michigan Dashboard as we work towards reaching the goal of 20% Michigan foods in all Michigan institutions by 2020.
Facts and Tips
- Fact: Michigan is the top producer of tart cherries in the United States with about three-fourths of the country’s total production.
Nutrition Tip: Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory properties from antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins.
Fact: It takes 6–8 pounds of fresh cherries to make one pound of dried cherries.
Safe Handling: Keep frozen cherries at 0°F or below until ready to use.
Fact: Cherry trees bear fruit for 25 years or more.
Use the resource list below to locate and purchase Michigan dried and frozen cherries to serve in your institution.