At DelightedCooking, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How Do I Choose the Best Rainier Cherries?

Selecting the best Rainier cherries involves looking for plump, firm fruits with a vibrant yellow-pink hue. Avoid any with blemishes or soft spots. The stems should be fresh and green, indicating recent harvest. When you find cherries with these qualities, you're in for a sweet, juicy treat. Wondering how to store them for maximum freshness? Keep reading to find out.
Suzanne S. Wiley
Suzanne S. Wiley

The Rainier cherry is a sweet cherry fruit known for its taste and multicolored skin. It is a hybrid with two dark red cherries, the Bing and Van varieties, for “parents.” As you pick through the piles of cherries in a market or look through pre-bagged piles, trying to find the best Rainier cherries to buy, look for good color, firmness and a lack of bug or other damage.

Like other cherries, a Rainier cherry should be plump and firm, without any soft spots or wrinkles. These are signs the cherry is overripe and rotting. The cherry should not feel completely squishy, either, even if the skin is intact and the cherry looks plump. Avoid cherries with cracks and punctures in the skin. Look out for signs of bug infestation, too, as Rainier cherries are susceptible to damage from the cherry fruit fly maggot.

Rainier cherries.
Rainier cherries.

Whether or not the stem is attached isn’t an indication of how good the cherry is, but the condition of the skin near the spot where the stem attaches to the cherry is. You shouldn’t see any torn skin or leaking juice at that spot. The skin of a Rainier cherry is a combination of red and yellow, and the colors should look robust and not dull. There should be at least some red on the cherry, and all-yellow Rainier cherries may not be fully ripe. The skin should be shiny and have no mold.

Occasionally you might see a brownish spot on the cherry’s skin. As long as the spot is not torn open or odd-looking in any other way, the cherry should be fine. Rainier cherries that have higher sugar content sometimes have these spots.

Cherries on the lower branches of trees don’t always get enough sunlight, which is necessary for the Rainier cherry to develop proper color and taste. Sometimes farmers add reflective sheets to the ground below the branches in an effort to send some light to those lower cherries. This doesn’t always increase the sweetness of the fruit.

To avoid putting sour, unripe cherries in your recipes, taste one after you’ve washed it. Cut the cherry in half, so you don’t unwittingly bite into a sour one. The flesh inside the cherry should be white to a little off-white and attached to the pit. If the cherry looks all right inside, eat one of the halves to see if it is as sweet as you’d like.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Quite often, when we go to the grocery store and buy our fruits (and vegetables), we normally don't take into consideration just how much work goes into preparing them.

For example, notice how in the second to last paragraph, it's mentioned that Rainier cherries need to get enough sunlight or they won't grow properly.

This might not seem like a big deal to some, but to those who are growing them, it makes a world of difference. It's the little things like this that we don't think about often. However, even the smallest of choices can make or break whatever it is that you're trying to grow.


Whether it's a Ranier cherry or a plain one, I don't know about anyone else, but I have always found cherries to be kind of hit or miss. While some cherries have an excellent ripe and juicy quality, others, not so much. This is especially the case when you go to the grocery store. You have to be careful at what bag you pick, as if you're not careful, you can even end up with a whole bag of sour or rotten cherries.

In fact, this issue doesn't just apply to the fruit in discussion, it can apply to many summer related fruits. They might rot easily, be way too sour, or already have fruit fly eggs in them by the time you get there. Whether it's Ranier cherries, plain cherries, or any fruit in general, quality is very important. You're going to the supermarket to get what you paid for, and you should make sure you're not getting ripped off.


Speaking of cherries and other related fruit, I noticed that the first paragraph mentions that the Ranier cherry is a cross between two darker cherries.

This kind of leads me to wonder how fruits are crossed in the first place, and if there will be even more discoveries in the future. Overall, it's very interesting what can be derived when things are crossed together.

Speaking of which, while I haven't seen these cherries at the store, they do seem like a nice break from what most people are used to, the average cherries which dark, sweet and juicy. With all that said, I wonder how well these would taste if you were to use them in a pie, as they seem to be a bit iffy.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Rainier cherries.
      By: Harris Shiffman
      Rainier cherries.