Very Cherry!

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Most of you know by now that I have been on a dozen airplanes in just one week. We won’t count the shuttle buses & cabs that catapulted me around the country.

My first stop was Traverse City. Michigan. I was invited by the fabulous folks at The Cherry Marketing Institute to learn about their tart cherry harvest.

I am crazy in love with cherries so I couldn’t refuse. Have you ever had tart cherries? I could eat them by the barrel, really.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

This trip to coastal Northern Michigan was a photographer & foodies dream.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Traverse City is a well known summer vacation spot. It is a beautiful part of our country.

You can boat, paddle board and swim in Lake Michigan

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

You can also check out the Traverse City Film Festival.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

There are plenty of places to create family memories.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan |

Also lots of tart cherry orchards.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

My pal Maureen (Rose Water & Orange Blossoms) was also on the trip.

She lives nearby that part of Michigan and says it is splendid all times of the year.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan |

We enjoyed fabulous dining & guess what ingredient was the super star? You got it tart cherries

Flowers were beautifully arranged with them…

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Tart cherries a a bit different from their sweeter siblings. Northern Michigan is the largest grower of them. They burst with flavor!

Cocktails were mixed & garnished with them…

Cherry Martini | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Salad was dressed with them…

Goat Cheese, Cherry Salad | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Meat was sauced with them…

Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce | Traverse City, Michigan |

Desserts were flavored with them…

Tart Cherry Creme Brûlée | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Pie was astonishing with them…

Tart Cherry Pie | Traverse City, Michigan  |

BBQ was phenomenal with cherries in the sauce!

BBQ  | Traverse City, Michigan  |

I even had the servers bring me huge cups full of frozen tart cherries to indulge in as I waited for my meal.

Cherry Lemonade is a treat!

Cherry Lemonade | Traverse City, Michigan |

As are Cherry Oatmeal Cookies…

Cherry Oatmeal Cookies | Traverse City, Michigan  |

There is lots ‘n lots of tart cherry research going on these days.

These gems are known to have lots of health benefits. On our trip were quite a few nutritionists boasting proudly about the attributes.

This is the fabulous Wendy Bazilian. She taught us lots about tart cherries.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan |

 The cherries we learned most about were the  Montmorency & Balaton varieties.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

The orchards were sun dappled & stunning!

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan |

 I even snuck in a selfie…

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  |

Stay tuned for recipe creations I will share using tart cherries!

Disclaimer: A great big thank you to the The Cherry Marketing Institute for hosting me to attend this experience.

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

51 thoughts on “Very Cherry!

  1. Looks wonderful. I have to say that I’m not all that familiar with tart cherries, so you’ll have to educate me! Did you see my post on 100 Cherry Recipes? I’ve been loving them this summer too 🙂

    1. Hi Liz!! It truly was a wonderful experience to visit Traverse City & surrounding areas. I hope to get back there some day soon 🙂

  2. I was just in the cherry orchards before they were about to harvest those beautiful tart cherries and I really couldn’t eat enough of them! Straight from the source?! YES PLEASE!

  3. Marla, you captured our corner of the country SO beautifully!! Amazing photography of all things cherry and Michigan Up North. And for me the cherry on top was meeting you. Looking forward to your recipes with more cherry-love.

    1. Awwwwww…Maureen, you are such a sweetheart! It was wonderful to meet you too. Looking forward to staying in touch and hopefully meeting up again some day real soon!

  4. I love love love cherries. I’ve been wanting to go to the cherry festival in Traverse, MI for years. I can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    1. We did not get to go to the festival, but I hear it is wonderful! I can’t wait to share tart cherry recipes with you guys. I have some great ideas!

      1. Lovely article on such a beautiful place! I hate to say it, but I live in Traverse City and recommend that you do not visit during the cherry festival. Traverse City is a much more beautiful place when the festival has gone, so I recommend mid to late July if you want to come for the tart cherries. We have some great you-pick orchards that will give you a much better experience than the festival. 🙂 We also have a wonderful apple season and gorgeous fall colors, so October is another time that I recommend visiting. I hope you were able to check out our farmer’s market too – it’s pretty spectacular for a small town!

        1. Thanks Sarah! I live in a tourist driven area as well. I am with you…I LOVE it here when it is a bit more quiet & authentic. The apple season there must be stunning!

  5. What a beautiful part of the country and for me, an introduction to tart cherries. Not sure I’ve ever had them. Rosa’s right–cherry paradise indeed!

    1. Regan… are sooooooo fun girl! That selfie tutorial was a hoot. From the looks of it you got it down now. Hope to see you at another event some time really soon 🙂

  6. Oh, Marla! As a tart cherry lover, it makes me so happy knowing you were able to drink up some major tart cherry HEAVEN! The Big Lug and I are from Michigan (still have relatives living there, including some in Northern Michigan near Traverse City) and we have such fond memories surrounding tart cherries since our childhoods, like The Cherry Festival. We are tart cherry fanatics! In fact, I recently featured two tart cherry recipes, Mom’s Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling (do try it!) and Cherry Pie Crumble Bars, on the blog using tart Meteor cherries grown locally here in Indiana and have at least one more to post! Looking forward to your tart cherry recipe posts, Marla! xo

    1. Hi Stacy! Oooooo i must check out your cherry recipes they sound wonderful! Feel free to share the links to those in a comment so people can visit 🙂

  7. I love MI tart cherries! I live in southeast MI and buying sour cherries at a local farm is a summer ritual. My parents went to Traverse City a couple years ago and brought home the best sweet cherries too. But I have yet to make tart cherry pie! Next year for sure.

  8. What a fun trip Marla – so great that you were able to see firsthand the source of fresh cherries and how they are nurtured to full ripeness. Beautiful pics! Really enjoyed your post – I could imagine how sweet these perfectly ripened cherries were.

  9. I just happened upon your blog and I love it! What beautiful photos and your recipes sound terrific. I was thrilled to see your post on TC and tart cherries. I hail from the up north Michigan area. Once you have experienced tart Michigan cherries I feel there is no substitute. So glad to meet you. Thank you.