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Name Variations Edit
About Maraschino cherry Edit
Wikipedia Article About Maraschino cherry on Wikipedia
A maraschino cherry is a preserved, sweetened cherry, typically made from light-colored sweet cherries, such as the Royal Ann, Rainier, or Gold varieties. The cherries are first preserved in a brine solution or ethanol, then soaked in a suspension of food colouring, sugar syrup, artificial and natural flavors, and other components. Maraschino cherries dyed red are typically almond-flavoured, while cherries dyed green are usually peppermint-flavoured.
Further steps along this process make glace and crystalised cherries; after soaking, the cherries are drained and then soaked in glucose and air-dried, producing glace cherries; a further stage involves another soaking in glucose which coats them with sugar, creating crystalised cherries.
The name maraschino refers to the marasca cherry and a liqueur made from it, in which maraschino cherries were originally preserved. Originally produced for and consumed as a delicacy by royalty and the wealthy, the cherries were first introduced in the United States in the late 19th century, where they were served in fine restaurants. By the turn of the century, American producers were experimenting with flavors such as the almond extract used today.
During Prohibition in the United States, Ernest H. Wiegand, a professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, developed the modern method of manufacturing maraschino cherries using a brine solution rather than alcohol. Thus, most modern maraschino cherries have only an historical connection with the liqueur maraschino.
Maraschino cherries are an important ingredient in many cocktails. As a garnish, they often decorate baked ham, pastry, parfaits, ice cream sundaes, and ice cream sodas.