Some people don’t know the difference between maraschino cherries and any other kind of cherry; although, if they look back and refresh their memories, surely they have tried them in a dessert, ice cream or cocktail without really knowing that it was a cherry of this kind.
In this post we are going to give you all the keys to find out why maraschino cherries are so popular and why they are increasingly being used in pastries around the world, in hotels, restaurants and catering services, to cover the growing customer demand.
What is the origin of the maraschino cherry?
Maraschino cherries originated in Croatia and northern Italy over 200 years ago. Traders used a sweet cherry and soaked it in maraschino liqueur. The result was a different cherry, with a unique and very tasty touch.
The maraschino liqueur was made with marasca cherry, whose main characteristic was its intense and persistent aroma. In addition to this cherry, honey, almonds and sugar were used, so the resulting liquor had a very particular sweetness, quite different from cherries with alcohol.
At the end of the 19th century, the maraschino cherry began to be used to make sauces and accompany custards, salads or vegetables, in such a way that a simple dish of cooked vegetables, when combined with these cherries, was elevated to a higher quality dish.
Already in the 20th century, maraschino cherries began to be marketed as we know them today and were considered a delicacy in the best restaurants and hotels in the US. They were used in desserts and cocktails as well known as the “Piña colada”, the “Cosmopolitan ”, “Miami Beach” or the “Manhattan”. Its sweet flavor with slight bitter touches differentiated it from the flavor of natural cherry, candied cherry, cherries in liqueur or Amarena cherries.
Little by little, the maraschino liqueur was replaced by bitter almond oil until it began to be considered a true maraschino cherry, the cherry with a sweet flavor, bright red color, sugary and with a very particular aroma.
Today, maraschino cherries are sold in cans and jars, so they are much better stored in kitchens and bakeries and allow for longer shelf life. This has encouraged many chefs and pastry chefs to always have an assortment of this ingredient on hand to make their creations.
Why do we like maraschino cherries so much?
As we have said, this type of candied cherry is totally different from the rest of the cherries and they are increasingly in demand by customers. Its intense color, its sweet flavor and its texture, almost as if it were a candy, gives it some very characteristic qualities; Hence, professionals use them in their bakery preparations, biscuits, cookies, muffins, etc.
In confectionery they are used above all to decorate cakes, tarts, tartlets or cupcakes, to mix with pastry cream, in cocktails or to eat loose, almost as if it were a candy. Its versatility and unmistakable flavor have made these cherries the favorites of many customers in HORECA establishments, among the wide range of cherries that can be consumed throughout the year.
Ice cream and yogurt lovers are also loyal fans of maraschino cherries, as they are perfect to accompany cream, vanilla or chocolate ice cream, creamy yogurt and fruit salad. Therefore, we are dealing with a cherry that is not only liked for its magnificent flavor and texture on the palate, but also for its presence and its incredible appeal.
Where to get premium quality maraschino cherries?
It is not easy to find a brand that offers quality maraschino cherries with a wide assortment for the most demanding professionals. They want to choose the product that best suits their way of working and that offers the results they are looking for in their desserts. They prefer to choose between different containers to handle the product in a simple way, according to their needs, for example, plastic containers, glass jars, cans or cardboard bags.
Another aspect that professionals emphasize is the preservation capacity of the product. Maraschino cherries, having a high sugar content, can last a long period of time at room temperature (between 36 and 60 months), so they will always be ready to use. Once the container is opened, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator, but if it is kept sealed until the next use, it can also last a long time.
At Lazaya Preserved Fruits we have been offering the best cherries to professionals for more than 80 years and we know what they are looking for to carry out their work optimally. For this reason, we offer whole maraschino cherries, pitted, with different sizes (from 16 to 18 and from 24 to 26), different brix degrees (from 40 to 55) and with or without stem.
They are also available without sugar and with natural colourings. If you want to know why maraschino cherries are so popular, all you have to do is contact us and tell us what you need for your business. Talk later?