Cherry flavors overrun our world: cherry popsicles, cherry lip balm, cherry Lifesavers. But nothing beats the real deal. A bowl of fresh, in-season cherries are delicious baked in pies, cooked into preserves, or eaten raw.

We look forward to them all year, for our favorite recipes and plain ol’ snacking. Here’s how to pick the best ones and store them at home.

WHEN ARE CHERRIES IN SEASON?

Growers cultivate numerous varieties that peak at overlapping times, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of fresh and ripe cherries in the summer months.

You’ll start finding U.S.-grown cherries in stores at the end of April, when California cherries hit the shelves. Right when the California cherries peter out, the Northwest cherries appear, going strong until late August.

Bing cherries

CHERRY VARIETIES

You’ll find two major types of fresh cherries: sweet and sour. Sweet…

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