White or Red: A Note on Cherries

White or red. That is the question. While lounging on the deck, drinking coffee, and reading A Feast for Crows, I asked myself “Red or white?”. I was of course referring to the ceramic bowl laying next to me, which contain red Bing and white Rainier cherries. Bing cherries, often touted as America’s favorite cherry, were created in 1875 by horticulturist Seth Lewelling and Ah Bing, his Chinese foreman. Bright red, sweet, slightly firm, with green stems, Bings are the figurehead for all cherries. Rainier cherries were developed in 1952 at Washington State University, as a cross between Bing and Van cultivars. Because 1/3 of Rainiers are eaten by birds before harvested, they tend to be the most expensive cherry on the market. As I was lounging on the deck, I knew none of this information. This didn’t stop my from eating the entire bowl of cherries attempting to answer the question of “Red or white?”.

White. It’s not that red cherries are bad; I’ll still eat an entire bowl of them without hesitation, white cherries are just simply better. Red cherries provide a burst of sweetness and tartness on a consistent basis, often tasting very similar to cherry flavored candy or soda. White cherries are a more subtle beast. Texturally more like a plum, white cherries are fleshier than their red relatives. Tangy and crisp, white cherries are more enjoyable to eat, and on a hot day, are quite refreshing. This being said, I don’t see Rainier cherries popping up on slot machines anytime soon.


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