Check out these babies. Do they make your mouth water?
My editor, Kathy Lu, went cherry picking for her birthday on Saturday and lugged home 20 pounds of sweet dark and white cherries. She was kind enough to bring me a half-gallon of the little garnet jewels.
The orchard is called Levering Orchard, and it’s located out near Fancy Gap. Kathy says the cherries were $2.49 per pound. She and her husband pitted and froze most of theirs with plans to make ice cream, cherry sauce or smoothies. Since she’s also a talented baker, they may show up in a dessert at some point, too.
Unfortunately, while these cherries do make my mouth water, they also make my throat and ears itch like mad. It’s a mystery allergy that I seem to have developed over the past couple of years.
Some call it “Oral Allergy Syndrome.” Here’s an interesting article on the topic that appeared in U.S. News and World Report.
Oddly, I used to be able to eat all kinds of fresh fruit with no problems whatsoever. But just recently, raw fruits with a pit (including cherries, peaches and nectarines) drive me into an itching frenzy. I start clucking like a chicken in an effort to scratch the back of my throat, and I start wishing I had a Q-Tip that I could ram down my ears to relieve the itch. It’s not pleasant, and I’ve heard from lots of friends and acquaintances who say they have a similar reaction to everything from apples to celery.
The only way that I can enjoy these lovely fruits is by cooking them, which seems to rid them of whatever substance causes me to itch. But it seems like such a travesty to cook these beautiful, fresh cherries. They are so naturally sweet and delicious right off the stem.
Does anyone have an idea for how to enjoy these cherries cooked without completely demolishing their natural flavors? I’d also love to hear from anyone who has suffered from a similar allergy.