As we all know, there are many kinds of cherries with very different characteristics that are used in pastries and savory dishes. One of the best known are maraschino cherries and many people wonder what distinguishes them from other cherries.
In this post we are going to see what their main qualities are and why they are so used by professionals to make their creations in Horeca establishments, pastry shops, ice cream shops or cocktail bars.
History of Maraschino Cherries
In the past, maraschino cherries were a royal dessert because of their attractive appearance and caramel flavor, so they were often mixed with natural fruit cakes, as well as tarts and other desserts.
Its origin is Italian, from the Padua region, and also from Croatia, in the Dalmatia region. In these areas, sour marasca cherries were macerated in a liquor called “Luxardo Maraschino” that was prepared with the liquid released by the fruit, almonds and sugar. The result was a cherry with a sweet flavor, very aromatic and with a bitter touch. Different varieties of cherries can be used to make maraschino cherries, sweet or sour at your choice, for example Rainier or Royal Ann.
It was not until the second decade of the 20th century in the US that the maraschino cherry began to be used as we know it today. It happened due to the entry into force of the so-called “Dry Law”, which prohibited the distribution and consumption of alcohol throughout the country. Maraschino cherries could no longer be macerated in liquor and it was Professor Ernest H. Wiegand who devised a process in which the cherries were brined, along with calcium salts, and then immersed in sugar syrup.
With this new method, the supply of maraschino cherries was assured for all social backgrounds, not just the upper classes. They began to be used in very popular cocktails such as the “Shirley Temple”, “Manhattan” or the “Piña Colada” and little by little they were integrated into cocktail bars and pastry shops around the world.
What distinguishes them from the rest?
The main differences between the maraschino cherry and other cherries are its aroma, its bright red color and its sweet flavor with bitter touches and reminiscences of almonds and honey.
Another characteristic that makes these cherries unique is their different colors that are achieved with natural or artificial dyes. The best known and most commonly used in cocktails are the red and green ones (these with a mint flavor), but there are also blue and yellow ones so that chefs can choose the decoration that best suits their desserts.
Having more sugar than regular cherries, maraschino cherries were created to accompany desserts and create sauces and garnishes. Their greatest quality is their versatility, as they can be used to decorate desserts and cocktails or to add a touch of color and elegance to cakes, biscuits, cakes and ice creams, such as the Banana Split.
In addition, chopped or crushed maraschino cherries are also used to add color to icing or as an ingredient in breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies, ice cream, tarts, tarts, cupcakes, and other desserts.
On the other hand, the maraschino cherry bears some resemblance to chewy candies, making it more like candy than fruit. That is why it is used above all to sweeten, since its flavor is not decisive in the final product.
Because of their high sugar content, maraschino cherries can last for a long time if they are kept in unopened jars in a cool, dark place. Once the container is opened, if kept sealed between uses in the refrigerator, they can last a year or more. It is very important to close the container after each use and handle the cherries with clean and dry utensils to keep the properties of the cherries intact.
Quality Maraschino Cherries
Professional bakers and chefs always have maraschino cherries on hand to add a unique touch to their creations and, of course, they select cherries of the highest possible quality and with a wide variety of formats and packaging. In the case of Lazaya, we have non-alcoholic maraschino cherries, red, blue and yellow, whole, in pieces or halves, with stem or without stem and with a characteristic bitter aroma that distinguishes them from other cherries.
We also have maraschino cherries without sugar, with natural coloring and different sizes and brix to adapt to the demands of professionals. As for packaging, we have glass jars, cans, plastic containers or cardboard bags. In this way, its use is facilitated in different contexts, such as Horeca establishments, pastry shops, cocktail bars, ice cream parlors, etc. Contact us and tell us what you need, we will be happy to help you.