Have you ever noticed when you buy a bag of cherries at the store they are typically all a uniform size? Cherry growers want to make sure the consumer is buying only the highest quality cherry so the cherries go through a machine before being packed to determine the size and quality of the cherry. Cherries have the same size pit regardless of the size of the cherry. The larger the cherry the more flesh on the fruit which demands a premium price.
The industry measurement for cherries is determined by their row size. The smaller the row number the larger the cherry. For example if 10 cherries fit in a row inside the box the cherries were called a 10 row box. This method came about when cherry growers used to pack the top layer of a box in a neat row. Sizes can vary from about the largest 8 size row to the smallest 12 size row.
The smaller sizes don’t get packed for retailers and will end up being processed for juice or other consumer goods such as cherry pie filling. Small cherry growers do not usually have the machines to size their cherries and will pack in bulk mixing large and small sizes at a better price to the consumer.
Organic cherries are currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest and we are expecting the season to end early to mid-August. Make sure to get your cherries while they are still in season!