Shop the market for summer cherries

You know it is summer when the first cherries start appearing at the local market stalls with traders all competing with each other to offer the best price per kilo.

Here in the mountains of Alicante in Spain, cherry trees along with almonds and olives all thrive, allowing local farmers to have a cash producing crop at different times of the year.

First introduced to the area by the Romans the cultivation of the sweet-sour fruit was embraced by the Moors who ruled this part of southern Spain for over 700 years.

Mountain cherries from Alicante are of a very high-quality thanks to the microclimate in which they are grown, the arid soil and the lack of pest and diseases.

This year we are expecting a bumper crop that the local cooperative says could reach 4 million kilos. This, of course, will be good for consumers as it will keep the price down on this nutritious fruit.

Health benefits

While cherries may not be up there with almonds, nutritionists are recommending them as part of a healthy diet.

Besides being a good source of vitamins, fibre and minerals, cherries are known for their antioxidant properties.

Cherries contain cyanidin a natural organic compound that protects cells against oxidative damage while also reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Including cherries in your diet can help prevent gout flare-ups by lowering the number of uric acid levels in the blood and has anti-inflammatory properties that could help with arthritis.

Like all fruit wash it before eating to remove any pesticides and eat it as soon as possible so that you can taste them at their best.

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