Cherries you may have seen in our baskets in the past may have had little (or large) splits in them, such as the image above. We have had many question why we have “bad” fruit in our baskets. This would be because they are not in any means spoiled, in fact, our split cherries tend to be the sweetest ones you will find in the basket.
Split cherries are caused from a variety of different factors. Excess sun (which we have plenty of in the Southern Okanagan) will cause the cherry to ripen faster than the flesh is prepared for, creating a very sweet, ripe cherry, with a split. Another leading factor is rain. Once the cherry is already developed, ripening on the tree we have the chance of rain or water getting into the cherry through the top (stem). The water than seeps in-between the skin and flesh causing it to crack or split.
Why, as the growers, do we not do something to stop the splitting? Another frequent question we get asked. The reason being, we try to put as little as possible on any and all of our fruit. Farmers can avoid split cherries by non other than spraying lots of chemicals that will make them water resistant and less susceptible to sun damage, covering trees in plastic covers (excess needless plastic that would be a horrendous amount of work as they would need to be applied and removed every time it rains), or using wind turbines/helicopters to dry off the fruit every time it rains. All of this extra work and money to make a “perfect” cherry that even when using these methods are not guaranteed. Besides, we LOVE split fruit.
We believe a perfect cherry is one that no matter the look, it makes you do a little happy dance every time you eat one!