Speculating on dried cherries

I saw a punnet of dried cherries at the Middle Eastern grocery store near me the other day.  Never having had dried cherries before, I thought I’d give them a try, especially as the owner of the store waxed positively enthusiastic about them as soon as I looked in their direction.  Enthusiasm isn’t one of that particular store owner’s great skills (he was rather dour the first few times I went there, and it took him about two years to decide that I was harmlessly eccentric, rather than alarmingly odd, but he now actually smiles when he sees me coming, possibly because he knows he is about to be entertained by the spectacle of me dancing around the shop admiring the wares and babbling very rapidly about fruitcake, or maybe just acting like one), so I figured they must be pretty good.  I bought them, brought them home and forgot about them.

I really shouldn’t have.  I was in the mood for random cake a few days ago, and decided that what my chocolate and orange loaf cake really needed was some random dried cherries in it.  I opened the punnet and ate one – oh my.  They are amazing – like all the best things you ever loved about cherries rolled into little, sweet bundles.  Lovely in a chocolate cake, but also wonderful plain.  They sing of black forest cake (they must be black cherries – nothing else could have that depth of flavour) and choc-chip and cherry cookies and chicken stuffed with rice and fruit and nuts, and sour cherry sauce for lamb, and almond nougat, and goodness knows what else.  I need to find the perfect showcase for them, because they deserve it. They’d be lovely in those gluten free chocolate and raspberry brownies – swap out the raspberry jam for cherry jam and the raspberries for these, and wow.  But wonderfully as they go with chocolate, I want to find something where they get to be the star of the show.  They deserve it.

I’ll be going back to that shop tomorrow to buy another couple of punnets, because I think I’m addicted.  A lunchbox adorned with roasted almonds and dried cherries as a mid-afternoon snack could be no less than glorious.  But I need to find them the perfect vehicle…

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4 comments for “Speculating on dried cherries

  1. August 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I am curious which shop – I had a place at the vic market that did wonderfully sour dried cherries and I came one week and they only had the very sweet ones – such a disappointment

    • August 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      The middle eastern shop in Victoria Arcade, between the library and Half Moon cafe. These taste very much like black cherries – not wholly sour, but really, really good!

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