Here they come – glossy and glamorous and ready to stain everything you own. The first cherries are in and all of their tangy, dark-red purpleness is yours to plunder.
But don’t waste any time. Unlike peaches, plums and berries, great cherries are really only available in late spring and early summer, and substitutes, dried, frozen, jarred or – heaven forbid – extracted, don’t begin to compare.
There are dozens of types beyond the familiar Bing, including the dark and sweet Viva and Viscount, Rainier, which are huge and yellow with a pink blush, and tart Montmorency, which ripen toward the end of the season. Cherry pick your favourites and forget about pie – these beauties are much too lovely to cover up.