History, Facts, and Figures
About Our Fruit
With their large size, deep mahogany color and crisp, juicy texture, it's easy to see why California Cherries are summer's most anticipated fruit. But it's the flavor - the distinctively rich, sweet taste explosion in every bite - that gives California Cherries such a fanatical and loyal following across the country! The difference is California. Here, especially in the state's northern region, ideal conditions and experienced growers come together to produce truly special Cherries. In the orchards of the San Joaquin and Santa Clara Valleys, cherry trees receive the precisely perfect combination of nutrient-rich soil, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures needed to produce exquisite fruit. Combined with the expertise of the state's Cherry growers, these conditions result in superior quality and bountiful harvests, making California the only place to find the world's finest Cherries! California is home to approximately 600 Cherry growers farming over 26,000 acres, from 1-acre hobby farms to 500-acre production farms. Most are small farms ranging from 10 to 30 acres in size. The acreage devoted to California Cherries has increased as consumer demand has grown both domestically and in key export markets like Japan.
Fast facts for Cherry buffs...
- Cherries are members of the Rosaceae family, subfamily Prunoideae - a distant cousin to peaches, plums, apricots and almonds.
- Sweet cherries (like California Bings) are members of the species Prunus avium.
- The sweet cherry originated in Asia Minor, in the fertile area between the Black and Caspian Seas, and was probably carried to Europe by birds.
- Cultivation of sweet cherries likely began with Greeks, and later Romans, who valued the tree's timber as well as its fruit.
- Sweet cherries came to America in 1629 with English colonists, and later to California with Spanish missionaries.
- Today's Bing Cherries come from stock that dates back to the 1800s, when California became an established cherry production region.