At the Farmers' Market: The First Burlat Cherries

That's right, folks, cherry season is just about upon us. Every year, the first cherries start from the Imperial Valley and work their way up through Leona Valley, on up as far as Stockton before they start departing our markets in early August.

The first cherries of the year, dark Burlats, appeared at the Irvine farmers' market this past Saturday from Stockton's Smit Orchards, who are jumping the gun hugely. A quick taste revealed that, while not bad at all, they definitely need to cook on the trees for another week or two; as others bring their crop to market, the price will drop from Saturday's $7/lb.

Have your recipe books at hand; for those who don't know what to do with sweet cherries besides eat them out of hand, we will provide a recipe for the glorious French dessert known as clafoutis as soon as the quality of the fruit justifies it.

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