Montmorency cherry

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Montmorency cherries

The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) grown in the United States, Canada and France, particularly in Michigan and in Door County, Wisconsin.[1] Montmorency cherries are part of the lighter-red Amarelle cultivar of sour cherries, rather than the darker-red Morello cultivar. Michigan produces over 90,000 tons of Montmorency cherries each year.[2]

History of the Montmorency Tart Cherry The history of the Montmorency tart cherry extends back to ancient Rome. The Romans are credited to discovering this tiny red fruit along the Black Sea in Asia Minor. After Roman legionnaires discovered the tart cherries, they carried them with them and introduced them to the rest of Roman territory. They planted cherry trees alongside Roman roads and soldiers used the fruit for food and the wood to build weapons and repair equipment.

The tree was named for Montmorency, a valley in France.[3]

The tree produces large, light red fruit (although some trees produce a darker red fruit) and has been cultivated in the United States since at least the early 20th century.[4] It is the most popular sour cherry in the United States and Canada, and is extensively used in cherry pies,[5] as well as in jams and preserves.

Montmorency cherries are also marketed in dried form, and Montmorency cherry juice and juice concentrate are also sold. In addition, Montmorency tart cherry is also available in capsule [6] form. The capsules give consumers greater choice in enjoying the natural health benefit of this ruby-red fruit. The gain popularity of the capsules are due to several reasons including:

  • Less than 1 gram of sugar per serving
  • Delivers the whole fruit including the skin, the pulp and the juice of the cherry
  • Delivers 137ng of melatonin compared to 13.5ng found in the fresh fruit

Since the early 21st century, the Montmorency cherry has been promoted as a healthful food, due to several purported health benefits.[7]


  1. ^ "Door County Sour Cherry Preserves for Brioche". Artisan Bread in five minutes a day. 
  2. ^ Spring Is No Bowl of Cherries for Michigan Growers, Wall Street Journal, Matthew Dolan, June 1, 2012
  3. ^ "Cherry, Montmorency Prunus cerasus". Arbor Day Foundation. 
  4. ^ "All About Cherries". Royal Farms. 
  5. ^ "Prunus cerasus Montmorency". Nature Hills Nursery. 
  6. ^ "Benefits of Cherry Capsules". Traverse Bay Farms. 
  7. ^ Blando F, Gerardi C, Nicoletti I (2004). "Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus L) Anthocyanins as Ingredients for Functional Foods". J. Biomed. Biotechnol. 2004 (5): 253–8. doi:10.1155/S1110724304404136. PMC 1082898. PMID 15577186.