Cherry summer

Cherry season is in full swing. I talked to Reginald Rice of American River Cherry Company—a you-pick spot outside of Placerville—and asked about the varieties they grow:

“The Utah giants are very large—they don’t go through the largest size of the cherry sorter. They’re crisp and have a nice flavor. They’re about a quarter bigger than a nice big Bing. Some of our Utah giants in the past have been shipped from David Berkley to the president of the United States, so we make sure the Utah giants are of presidential quality.

“The main planting we have is Bings. They come on the second to third week of June. The season this year is just a little late. There’s an early cherry called Burlat—people like them because they’re the earliest. The Rainiers come on a little later. They have a yellowish background and pretty pink blush when they’re ripe, and mild flavor.

“I have a few called index—they have a little bit of a lemony flavor. The last to come on are called sosweet; they’re a little sweeter than average, but if you get a real ripe Bing, they’re as sweet a cherry as you’d want.”