Cherry List

Michigan Cherry Facts

• A stretch of Cherry Street bordering the former Tiger Stadium was renamed Kaline Drive.

• In partisan circles, some may think Lt. Gov. John Cherry is a peach; others may say he’s the pits. Why did he not try to replace his boss? Maybe he thought voters wouldn’t pick a cherry.

• According to Google Maps, metro Detroit has at least nine streets/drives/lanes named Cherry.

The National Cherry Festival takes place annually in Traverse City. The eight days include air shows, pit-spitting contests, and a cherry queen.

• Cherry is showing up in some unexpected places: barbecue sauce, salsa, mustard, and, at The Cherry Stop in Traverse City, there’s “cherryaki” sauce and cherry treats for the family pet.

• In 1976, while broadcasting a report on the banning of red dye #6, the words Maraschino Cherry Association of America struck NBC News anchor John Chancellor as funny and he began laughing. Co-anchor David Brinkley picked up the next story, but began giggling, as well. The broadcast cut to a commercial.

Cherry Republic, which has three locations in northern Michigan, carries a wide range of cherry products. Among them: Cherry Cream Honey.

• About its Black Cherry soda, Faygo says: “The elusive black cherry is way more delicious than the common red cherry, but nearly impossible to find. They’re grown only in hidden orchards scattered across Michigan and, lucky for you, Faygo has cornered the market on them.”

Cherries boast significant health benefits. One ounce of cherry juice contains a day’s worth of antioxidants. Cherries may help reduce inflammation and ease pain associated with arthritis or exercise. University of Michigan research has recently shown that cherries may help prevent heart disease.

The Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre in Honor, Mich., screens only G, PG, and some PG-13 movies.

Cherries are one of the few known food sources of melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep patterns. Rather than taking a supplement to ease jet lag, try cherries to hasten sleep.

• Michigan grows 75 percent of the nation’s tart cherries. Traverse City is the self-proclaimed “Cherry Capital of the World.”

Wild cherry oil contains a trace of cyanide (cyanogenic glycosides).

• Northern Michigan’s 2010 cherry crop is half its normal volume. The problem: Cherry trees budded early this spring and suffered cold exposure. Last year’s crop was so abundant that 30 million pounds of tart cherries across the country were left in fields due to insufficient demand.

With a Cherry on Top: Stories, Poems, Recipes & Fun Facts from Michigan Cherry Country, by Angela Williams, answers the question: Why are there no pitless cherries? The anthology includes anecdotes and memories, including one from Helen Westie who, at age 13 during the Depression, came north with her family to pick cherries. “My brothers and I regarded the very first cherry-picking year as the most wonderful adventure of our young lives,” Westie said. To purchase:

• Perhaps because her name sounded like cherry, Cherie Currie, the lead singer of The Runaways, sang “Cherry Bomb.”  Cherry Bombs are illegal fireworks and have been banned in the United States since 1966.

Cherry wood is a high-quality American hardwood that has a reddish or sometimes orange glow.

• Canadian ice-hockey commentator Don Cherry has a personality as colorful as his name (or his blazers). His detractors might say that he’s no candidate for hockey’s Lady “Byng” trophy.

Cherry Bread Pudding

(Serves 8)

  • 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups bread cubes made from buttered toast
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Hard sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together milk, butter, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place bread cubes and cherries in a well-buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Pour liquid mixture over the bread and fruit. Place casserole dish into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with hot water until the water is 1/2 inch up the sides of the casserole dish. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with your favorite topping.

Source: With a Cherry on Top, by Angela Williams

Cherry recovery drink

(Makes 1 serving)

  • 1/2 ounce melted dark chocolate
  • 4 ounces chocolate milk
  • 2 tablespoons tart cherry
  • juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Melt chocolate. Add remaining ingredients to melted chocolate. Mix well and chill.