Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Real Maraschino Cherries for #FoodieExtravaganza


Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganzav. February 2015 = Cherries
We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food!  Each month we will decide on an all-famous National Monthly Food Holiday in which we will base our recipes around. This month the ingredient is cherries. Get excited!! We hope you all enjoy our delicious chery treats this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.  If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.  We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

I'm sure that the word "maraschino" evokes images of unnaturally-colored red orbs of syrupy sweetness drowned in a pool of ginger ale or something equally sweet. At least that's what it did for me. I was transported to glasses of Shirley Temples at family weddings and celebrations. And I was more than happy to disabuse myself of that tonight.

Maraschino (marr-ə-SKEE-noh) is a bittersweet, clear liqueur flavored with Marasca cherries, which are originally from Dalmatia (Croatia). Today, most marascas grow around Torreglia, near Padua in Northern Italy, where the liqueur is distilled.

The liqueur's distinctive flavor comes from the Marasca cherries and the crushed cherry pits; honey is also part of the ancient recipe. The distillate matures for at least two years in ash vats since that wood does not lend its color to the liqueur, and, then, it's diluted and sugared. It is typically bottled in a straw-coated bottle.

A couple of years ago, a friend sent me a link to an article on NPR entitled, intriguingly, "Beyond Shirley Temples: The New Maraschino Cherry" by Kara Newman. And since I rarely pass up the opportunity to experiment culinarily, I tracked down a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and gave it a whirl. I know that cherries aren't in season, typically, but I saw bags of these garnet lovelies at Whole Foods during the holidays and grabbed a few.

Real Maraschino Cherries...
Place the cherries - stems, pits, and all - in a Mason jar or other container with a lid. Pour the liqueur over the cherries. The goal is to add enough liqueur to immerse the cherries, but they will bob to the top of the liquid anyway.

Let steep for 2 weeks.

The verdict: these are strong. Really, really strong. Use them sparingly.

Be sure to check out the rest of these fantastic cherry recipes! 
17 Delicious Cherry Recipes
17 Delicious Cherry Recipes
Real Maraschino Cherries by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Fresh Cherry Crisp by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Chocolate Cherry Brownies by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Cherry Apple Crumble Tart by Food Lust People Love
Cherry Pie Bites by The Freshman Cook
Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce by The Joyful Foodie
Balsamic Cherry Brie Stuffed French Toast by Pantry Friendly Cooking
Cherry Danishes by Passion Kneaded
Dark Cherry-Cranberry Compote by Rhubarb and Honey
National Cherry Month by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Cherry Glazed Cherry Muffins by We Like to Learn as We Go

22 comments:

  1. Great share for cherry month. I never even thought about how maraschino cherries would be made if not in sticky sugary syrup.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. They are potent...and, definitely, not kid-friendly.

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  2. What a great project!! Sounds like a good way to get a little tipsy and enjoy some yummy cherries at the same time. :D

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  3. I had no idea the neon red things weren't "real" maraschino cherries! Now these would be a great addition to a Shirley Temple. ;)

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    1. Haha...only for adults though. They are ridiculously potent.

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  4. I never thought of how maraschino cherries were made before. I typically don't like them. But twp years ago, I added rum to a jar. Now those are good! Pretty strong though

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    1. Rum and I are not friends...but I'll be it was tasty.

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  5. I love your history lesson. What a great experiment you had. I guess eating too many of these would be like eating too many rum balls. :)

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  6. My favorite thing about group posts is what I learn from other bloggers. Great lesson, Camilla, and I'll bet your real maraschino cherries are so much better than the dyed ones in plain syrup.

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. Yes...I love learning things from our group posts, too.

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  7. Wow I had no idea how to make these! That's awesome!

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  8. What a creative use for cherries, I can imagine they taste good.

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  9. The hubs and I only use Luxardo cherries for cocktails in our house as they are the best ... guess I need to take it one step further and make my own now!

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  10. I feel so silly for never thinking you can MAKE maraschino cherries. These would be a great addition to a cocktail :)

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    1. So true. They are fantastic. A bit strong, but good.

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