History

Cherries are a small, plump stone fruit and a member of the Rosacea (rose) family that includes almonds, peaches, apricots and plums.

  • Cherry pits have been found in Stone Age caves
  • The Romans discovered the fruit around 70BC in Asia Minor, the gateway between Europe and Asia in modern day Turkey, and introduced cherries to Britain in the first century AD
  • Early settlers took cherries to America by ship in the 1600s
  • Cherries have been cultivated in southern Australia since the late 19th Century when they were introduced to the New South Wales town of Young, now known as the cherry capital of Australia and host of the world-famous National Cherry Festival which will be held 30 November to 2 December 2012
  • The annual global production of cherries tops two million tonnes
  • Turkey is the most prolific cherry growing nation producing almost 25 percent more than its nearest rival, the United States. Iran, Italy and Russia round out the top five cherry suppliers
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