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First look at the color of the fruit when choosing bing cherries. To select the best, you should also feel for firmness. The best bing cherries will not be shriveled or too small. Ideally, the stems will still be attached to the cherries, which should have a sweet flavor.
The best bing cherries have a deep color. You do not want cherries that are bright red, but rather those that are dark red. A cherry that is nearly black in color is ideal. While the fruit should be a deep red-black color, you want to choose those fruits that still have green stems. Avoid stems that are brown or dried out.
Feel the fruit before making a purchase. They should be firm to the touch. Soft fruit is typically overly ripe and may be on its way to rotting. Rotten or decaying cherries will have mushy areas that may be brown in color. A cherry that is picked before it is ripe will be hard and also much smaller in size.
When you feel the cherries, they should be dry. Some older fruit may start to leak juice, which you want to avoid. Don't pick out fruit that feels sticky to the touch either.
Bing cherries that have wrinkled skin are old and usually rotting. Look at the surface of the cherries before buying them and select only those that have smooth skin. Also avoid those that have begun to shrivel or dry up. Some of the fruit may be damaged in shipping, reducing its shelf life. Steer clear of fruit with blemishes or holes in the skin.
Keep bing cherries in the best condition after you purchase them by storing them properly. Usually, cherries keep for only a few days and then begin to become soft. Store the fruit in the refrigerator. The cherries need plenty of air circulation. For best results and to prevent bruising, store the fruit in a single layer in a basket or dish with holes in it. Cherries piled on top of each other can bruise and become squished.
Washing the cherries can make them deteriorate more quickly. Only wash them right before you eat them. Also leave the pits in the fruit until just before eating for best quality, unless you are freezing the cherries. Take the pit out before freezing, as leaving it in will alter the taste of the fruit. Frozen cherries will keep for months.
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