I did not have plans for the cherries I bought at the green market. The baskets of bright red fruit screamed out to me. "Buy me, pick me, choose me!" I tasted one and succumbed. When I returned home I popped another cherry in my mouth. They were tender and tart, not too sour, although their name did not disappoint. As I mulled the idea of sour cherries I held the fruit in my hand. I wondered why I had never tried peeling cherries before. I picked up a pairing knife and slowly started peeling the skin off the fruit. The bright red skin came off easily and revealed a yellow veined flesh underneath. I placed the cherry in my mouth and the exposed tender flesh seemed to melt on my tongue, leaving just the pit as a reminder that it had been there. I picked up another cherry and peeled it. This time I removed the pit with a pair of needle nose pliers. The stone eased out relatively easily and left me with beautiful, tender cherry flesh. In looking at the cherry it reminded me of a miniature pitted lychee. I ate the pitted and peeled cherry and the taste and texture was revolutionary. I never appreciated the subtle texture of a sour cherry before. The tart flavor was equally enlightening as it provided structure through taste rather than texture.
I peeled yet another cherry and removed its pit. I placed it on a spoon and it looked just like a raw egg yolk. Interesting. I took the spoon to Aki and had her eat it. The response, whoa! Apparently the sourness in that cherry was a bit more intense or her taste buds continue to be hypersensitive, something we have noticed as of late. What she did not mention was the peeled aspect of the cherry or the fact that it did not have a pit. I asked why and her response was simple, "I expected that from you." Interesting.
I went back to the kitchen and set about peeling and pitting half of the cherries. The other half of the cherries I reserved for a jelly. Once the cherries were prepped, I took Aki's first response as a sign and lightly seasoned the fruit with a drizzle of agave nectar and a sprinkling of salt. Then I infused them in the vacuum sealer to draw in the seasonings. As it turned out, the seasoned cherries are more balanced than the unadulterated variety.
I have plans to pair the sour cherries with a buttermilk curd, though we shall see in what other directions we will travel.