Cherries typically fall into one of two categories when it comes to taste, sweet or tart, and the different varieties can also have other variations. This includes size, with some cherry tree species producing larger fruit. This can be a positive attribute when it comes to selling the fruit, with a 2005 study by the University of Oregon indicating that consumers had a stronger preference for larger cherries.
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The cherry industries uses rows as a standard measurement for the fruit. This came from the practice of packing the top layer of cherries in neat rows in a standard shipping box, with 9 fruit in a row referred to as 9-row-size cherries. A row measurement equates to a minimum size of cherry in inches, with larger varieties typically having a size in excess of 1 inch.
The Rainier variety has a distinctive appearance, with the cherry having a yellow colour with a red blush. First produced in 1960 by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Washington Agricultural Experiment Station by crossing the Van and Bing varieties, the fruit of a Rainier cherry tree can grow to a large size. A high sugar content provides it with a very sweet taste.
Originally created in 1983 by the Summerland research station of the Canadian Department of Agriculture, the Lapins cherry is a cross between the Van and Stella varieties. The Lapins variety can grow one of the largest cherries, which has a red to deep purple colour and good resistance to splitting.
Other large cherry varieties developed by the Summerland research station of the Canadian Department of Agriculture include the Staccato. The fruit of this tree has a large, heart shape, with a dark red to black colour. This variety typically ripens later in the growing season, and has an August harvesting date.
A cross between the Stella and Early Burlat varieties, a Tieton cherry tree produces fruit of a very large size, which can grow up to around 1.1 inches in width. The fruit has a dark mahogany red colour, with a lighter red inner flesh. It has a mild taste, falling into the sweet cherry category.
The Cupid cherry variety can grow to 1.1 inch and larger in size. Originally produced at the University of Saskatchewan, this fruit has a dark red colour, and is a self-pollinating variety of cherry tree.
Other varieties that can grow larger size fruit include the Summit cherry. This has a large, heart shape, with a shiny, bright red appearance. The Bing is one of the most common cherry varieties, with the fruit having a large, dark red to black appearance.
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