Dual-purpose cherries are the THIRD type in the basic cherry category (with the other two being sweet and sour).
These include Duke Cherries
and the Royal Ann Cherries.
The dual purpose cherry will have a mix of sweet and sour flavours and came to England from Médoc. The the name was adapted to May Duke, and then abbreviated.
are small wild damasca or amaresca cherries from Dalmatia (now part of Croatia). The small, very sour cherry was originally grown near Zara, the capital of Dalmatia. They are distilled into a colourless sweet, sticky Italian liqueur called maraschino.
The famous bottled maraschino cherries were originally damasca cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur, but now they tend to be ordinary bleached cherries, tinted with artificial colouring and steeped in syrup flavoured with bitter almonds. Glacé cherries are made by ordinary methods of candying.
Barbados cherry, acerola, West Indian cherry, Peurto Rican cherry, native cherry, garden cherry
(Malphigia punicifolia formerly glabra – Family Malpighiaceae)
cerise des Antilles/cerise carrée (French), Acerola (German), cereza/cereza de Jamaica (Spanish), cereja (Portuguese), malpi (Philippines), acerola (Puerto Rico), cereza de Barbados (Mexico), semeruco (Venezuela), cereza criollo (Cuba), grosella (Panama), manzanita (St. Domingo)
The Barbados cherry is sometimes more commonly known as acerola, depending on the country. It is the most important member of a group of small fruiting trees and shrubs native to tropical and subtropical regions of America.
Its fame stems from the fact that it was found to have a remarkably potent vitamin C content. Outdoing even rose hips, it is the richest of all fruits for this vitamin, having more than twenty times that of an orange, and containing as much as 4000 mg per 100 g of fruit.
For this reason, it is now cultivated for medicinal purposes. Because of its high ascorbic acid content, the fruit is much too sour to be eaten raw, except in the West Indies where it is much cultivated. It has been introduced elsewhere, including Hawaii.
The fruit is a bright red, about the size of a, well, cherry. It has shallow furrows running down the outside, indicative of the three pits which fit closely together inside.
The flesh is juicy, and the flavour is slightly acidic, more like a raspberry than a cherry. The fruit does gives a good flavour to jams and other preserves, or when mixed with other fruits.
After it is cooked, it tastes more like a tart apple. The Barbados cherry bears a strong resemblance to the common cherry. It grows on a thick bush that is sometimes used as a hedge in tropical and subtropical climates. Native to the Caribbean, it has become popular as an ornamental in Florida.
(Prunus salicifolia – Family Rosaceae)
Capulin is a true cherry cultivated since early times in the cooler mountainous regions of Central and South America. The dark red fruits contain a pale green, but sweet and juicy, pulp which can be eaten raw or cooked.
An unrelated fruit called the Jamaican cherry (Muntingia calabura – Family Elaeocarpaceae)
is also known as Capulin or capuli in Latin America. It is also indigenous to Central and South American tropics, but now widely grown in the Philippines, India, and Malaysia, where it is known as the Japanese or Chinese cherry.
Its small red or yellow fruits have a light brown, soft, juicy pulp filled with tiny yellowish seeds that are too small to notice when eating. Its flavour is somewhat like the sweet fig.
Cornelian cherry, cornel, dog cherry, Siberian cherry, Tartar cherry
(Cornus mas – Family Cornaceae)
cornouille (French), Kornelkirsche (German), corniola (Italian), kornel (Danish), kornell (Norwegian/Swedish), kanukka (Finnish), kizilcik (Turkish), seiyo (Japanese)
The Cornelian cherry is the fruit of one of the small trees or shrubs generally known as dogwoods, whose yellow flowers bloom long before the leaves unfold. The bright red berries can sometimes be as large as small plums, and their flavour is acidic and slightly bitter.
The fruit was formerly used in Western Europe to make pies, sauces, confections, as well as being pickled. In Turkey, these fruits are the most appreciated, and used in the making of jams or jelly-type foods.
In Russia, this cherry is an important ingredient in their cooking as it is in Asia, where it is used much like a sour cherry, giving dishes a sweet and sour flavour. In France, the cornel is picked like olives or made into preserves.
Chokecherry, pin cherry, bitter cherry, bird cherry, wild cherry, wild red cherry
(Prunus virginiana – Family Rosaceae)
Chokecherries are the fruits of closely related deciduous shrubs or small trees of the Rose family. Their bark is smooth and tends to peel off in horizontal strips. The bushes vary in height, ranging from fifteen to thirty feet or more, growing in moist woods and clearings or along waterways.
They are particularly abundant after a fire. The small cherries are bright red to almost black and fiercely sour and astringent, but there is a considerable difference between the eastern and the western varieties.
The western variety (Prunus virginiana var melanocarpa)
can be eaten fresh from the tree and do make wonderful jams, jellies, juice, and syrups. Chokecherries are second only to the saskatoon berry
in popularity in Western Canada, especially among the native peoples. The leaves and the seeds are poisonous, and some children have died when they ate the seed along with the fruit.
See also Black Cherry Health Benefits