Very Cherry!

by Marla on July 31, 2013 · 51 comments

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Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

You can also check out the Traverse City Film Festival.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

There are plenty of places to create family memories.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Also lots of tart cherry orchards.

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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 | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Salad was dressed with them…

Goat Cheese, Cherry Salad | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Meat was sauced with them…

Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce | Traverse City, Michigan | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Desserts were flavored with them…

Tart Cherry Creme Brûlée | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Pie was astonishing with them…

Tart Cherry Pie | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

BBQ was phenomenal with cherries in the sauce!

BBQ  | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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 | FamilyFreshCooking.com

As are Cherry Oatmeal Cookies…

Cherry Oatmeal Cookies | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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 | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

The orchards were sun dappled & stunning!

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan | FamilyFreshCooking.com

 I even snuck in a selfie…

Tart Cherry Harvest Trip | Traverse City, Michigan  | FamilyFreshCooking.com

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.

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