Cherries and sour cherries

  • Diana Constantin

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân

The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy drupe (an indehiscent fruit in which an outer fleshy part -exocarp and mesocarp- surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside). They are usually obtained from a limited number of species such as cultivars of the sweet cherry, Prunus avium.


Cherries have a very short growing season (the peak season usually being during the summer) and can grow in most temperate latitudes. In Australia and New Zealand they are usually at their peak in late December, in southern Europe and North America in June, in south-west coast of Canada in July to mid-August and in the UK in mid-July. Cherry seeds require exposure to cold to germinate (a mechanism the tree evolved to prevent germination during the autumn, which would then result in the seedling being killed by winter temperatures) and for this reason they cannot grow in tropical regions. A cherry tree will take three to four years to produce its first crop of fruit, and seven years to attain full maturity.


The symbolic meaning of cherries is that of fertility, merrymaking, and festivity. In Japan, where cherry blossoms are the national flower, they represent beauty, courtesy and modesty, but also the cycle of life, death and rebirth. They were also used as metaphors for the ritualistic suicides of Samurai warriors, who often decorated their military equipment with cherry blossoms before entering battle. The ancient Chinese regarded the fruit as a symbol of immortality. One Chinese legend tells of the goddess Xi Wang Mu, in whose garden the cherries of immortality ripen every thousand years. They also placed cherry branches over their doors on New Year’s Day and carved cherry wood statues to stand guard in front of their homes as cherry wood was thought to keep evil spirits away.

Due to their low glycemic index and high amount of antioxidants cherries have a number of health benefits which include : protection from diabetes; help you sleep better; helps ward off Alzheimer’s; reduces risk of stroke; slows the aging of skin; lowers risk of gout attacks.


Cherries can also be used in a number of vegan recipes, for example this cherry pudding which is easy to make and great for a hot summer day as it is raw.


  • 2-3 large ripe bananas, peeled

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked for about 4 hours)

  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced in half


  • Blend the bananas in a blender.

  • Add the nuts and vanilla, blend until creamy.

  • Put in the refrigerator for 20 to 40 minutes to thicken.

  • Now simply mix the cherries into the vanilla pudding.

  • You can make it pretty by assembling it in a glass bowl.

  • Put a 1/3 of the vanilla pudding in the bottom of the bowl. Then add 1/2 of the cherries, and then put another 1/3 of pudding on top. Add the rest of the cherries and top it off with the rest of the vanilla pudding.

  • You can sprinkle some raw cashews.

  • Now eat and enjoy!

  • I found working on this project to have been a great opportunity to learn more about both the health benefits of this fruit as well as its symbolic meaning for some countries.