It’s Cherry Season

Here in Franconia its Cherry season.

Before I moved to Germany, when someone said cherry season, I always thought of the opening of the cherry blossoms on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Each spring there is a magical time when the blossoms open and all the trees are covered with what looks like a blanket of pink billowy snow. Yet a relatively warm spring breeze blows so while your mind thinks snow, it feels like spring. If you time it just right, you’ll see the pale pink flowers catch the breeze and flutter to the ground. The petals drift from the branches, catching the light as they fall, covering the ground in blankety softness.306258_10150878571398294_389766317_n

Each year there is a festival in the end of March. Predictions are made about when the peak day to see the blossoms will be. Everyone waits to see whether this magical time will occur during the festival or not. The festival celebrates the cherry tree but more it celebrates the relationship between Japan and the USA. As the famous cherry trees were given as a gift from Japan to the US in 1912. It took years before the trees planted and decades before they achieved the iconic status they occupy today. You can read more about the history of the cherry blossoms here.

The cherry blossoms are a draw for tourists at the end of March in Franconia as well, but here the petals are white and the trees are not ornamental. When I first moved here, I thought they were apples or another fruiting tree until I looked at the bark. I’m amazed at how fast the cherries ripen and by late June or July are ready for picking.

Franconia is one of the largest exporters of sweet cherries in Germany. In the region lots of people have cherry trees in their yards and so for a month or two, everyone gives boxes of cherries as gifts, or brings them as party snacks.

Pretzfeld, a town nearby, has a Cherry Festival. When I heard about it, I envisionedIMG_4513 a festival with everything cherry–cherry ice cream, cherry beer, cherry marmalade, fried cherries and the like–but this cherry festival mostly embraces the Bavarian tradition of using any excuse to drink a Maß of beer and celebrate together in an outdoor party like atmosphere.

IMG_4527I have to admit the cherries are beautiful, sweet and delicious, which is surprising because so often fruit that looks good has no taste. I’m always amazed at the yield and variety.

Some bier kellers and breweries have actually capitalized on the cherry season, creating cherry beers, drinks and desserts.  While my mom was visiting, she made us a dinner with chicken with cherry salsa.  I am always interested in making cherry desserts, but pitting the cherries seems like a lot of work and I usually eat all the cherries raw as a snack before I can bake with them!

So far this year, we’ve had one box from a road side stand and five boxes as gifts from friends. I think the cherry is the zucchini for gardeners of Germany.  At such a high yield and such a fast rate of rotting, people are giving them away as fast as they can. It’s hard to eat them fast enough.

Oh just had an idea for tonight– chocolate covered cherries!IMG_4631

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6 thoughts on “It’s Cherry Season

    • Hi jerry, I’ve only seen a type of cherry beer at one Keller and according to the Bavarian purity law it probably wasn’t really beer. I wanted to answer your last comment because I was so excited to hear that you were in the Forchheim Kellerwald! Which Keller did you visit!? How was the rest of your visit to Germany? How are your German lessons going?

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  1. Laurie, We went to Neder-Brau, Glocken Keller and Eichhorn. There weren’t many kellers open and they weren’t crowded except for the Glocken Keller, so that’s where we had dinner! I’d bet it’s amazing there during Annafest! We also made the mistake of walking up Liebessteig! The next time, a taxi.

    We had a great time in Germany, We spent a night in Miltenberg, six in Bamberg, one in Aufsess, one in Furt-im-Wald, three in Regensburg and two in Sazburg. In Aufsess we hiked the Brauereienweg. That was a lot of fun. A nice 8 mile walk with four breweries. That’s not too far from Forchheim, you should try it some time.

    We love Bamberg and are ready to go back, especially when I see pictures of biergartens on Facebook.

    And, of course, we had to do the American tourist thing and do a Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, but at least we did it on bikes. It was fun.

    The German lessons are on hold for the summer. Classes begin again in August. I have been trying to do Doulingo most days. When classes start again, I’m going to ask the teacher to try and correct me when I pronounce something incorrectly. The biggest problem I had when I was there was pronunciation. I’ll be working on that.

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    • Hi Jerry, Sounds like a great trip! Glocken Keller is our favorite! It’s so nice to think that younger there in the Kellerwald enjoying yourselves. The Brauereienweg sounds great, we will have to try it. It’s so funny how the Austrians scoff at “the sound of music” and the Germans, on the other hand, seem to know nothing about it. Yes pronunciation is difficult and important especially all those letters with umlauts. I also recommend the foreign service institute. It’s another online platform and this one really helps with pronunciation. Here is the web address. https://www.livelingua.com/fsi-german-course.php. They have lots of lessons on there. You are able to print them and work through the them but it’s only with hearing, the old school way, there is no visual part (like duolingo) but I have found that you can work through the material and kind of have your own “school” program. I used the German programmed introduction course. Keep me posted on your progress!

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