What Do Black Cherries Taste Like?

Black cherries are a delightful variety of cherries known for their deep, dark color and rich flavor. Unlike their lighter counterparts, these cherries boast an intense and satisfying sweetness, making them a favorite among fruit enthusiasts.

Their unique taste, often described as a blend of sweet, tart, and slightly earthy notes, sets them apart.

As we go deeper into this article, we’ll uncover more about the unique flavor profile of black cherries and how you can best enjoy them.

How Do Black Cherries Taste?

When it comes to the taste of black cherries, think of a sweet and complex flavor.

What Do Black Cherries Taste Like

You’re met with cherry sweetness as you sink your teeth into the dark, glossy exterior. Yet, black cherries offer something more, a richer and deeper flavor than their lighter counterparts.

Following the initial wave of sweetness, a subtle tartness emerges, adding a refreshing counterpoint to the sweet flavor. This interplay between sweet and tart creates a satisfying taste experience.

But there’s another layer to the flavor of black cherries. They possess an earthy undertone that lends a distinct character to their taste profile.

Varieties Of Black Cherries

  • Bing Cherries: These cherries are one of the most well-known varieties of black cherries. They are large, round, and have a deep maroon color. Their flavor is intensely sweet with a slight tartness that adds complexity.
  • Lambert Cherries: Lambert cherries are another popular variety of black cherries. They are slightly smaller than Bing cherries and have bright, glossy skin. Their flavor is sweet but with a more pronounced tartness compared to Bing cherries.
  • Tulare Cherries: Tulare cherries are a variety of black cherries that are known for their firm texture. They have a dark red to black color and a sweet flavor that is less complex than other varieties.
  • Chelan Cherries: Chelan cherries are an early-season variety of black cherries. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are slightly smaller than Bing cherries.

Comparing Black Cherries With Other Fruits

  • Red Cherries: Red cherries, such as the Montmorency variety, are generally more tart than black cherries. They have a bright, tangy, less sweet, and acidic flavor.
  • Rainier Cherries: Rainier cherries are a light-colored variety with a sweet, delicate flavor. They are less complex in taste than black cherries and have a mild sweetness that is not as intense.
  • Plums: Plums, especially the darker varieties, have a flavor profile that is somewhat similar to black cherries. They are sweet and slightly tart, but their flavor is less concentrated, and they have a more watery texture.
  • Blackberries: Blackberries have a sweet-tart flavor that is somewhat similar to black cherries. However, blackberries have a more pronounced tartness and a slightly earthy flavor that black cherries do not have.

Do Black Cherries Taste Good?

Black cherries are a delight for those who appreciate a balance of sweet and tart flavors. Their rich, complex taste is a standout feature that makes them a favorite among fruit lovers. The sweetness of black cherries is not overpowering, and the slight tartness adds a refreshing twist.

slice black cherry cake

This balance of flavors makes them enjoyable to eat, whether you’re a fan of sweet fruits or prefer something with a bit of tang.

However, the taste of black cherries can vary depending on their freshness and ripeness. Fresh, ripe black cherries have a deep, robust, satisfying flavor. But if they’re not fully ripe, they can be a bit tart, and if they’re overripe, they can taste overly sweet and lose some of their complexity.

The best time to enjoy black cherries is during their peak season in the summer when they’re at their freshest and most flavorful.

Black cherries can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Eating them raw allows you to fully appreciate their unique flavor. On the other hand, cooking black cherries can enhance their sweetness and make them even more delicious. They’re great in baked goods like pies and tarts and can also be used in savory dishes to add a touch of sweetness.

Freezing black cherries is a good way to preserve and enjoy their flavor year-round. However, keep in mind that freezing can alter their texture, making them softer and less crisp. Despite this, frozen black cherries still taste good and can be used in a variety of dishes, from smoothies to sauces.

What Do Black Cherries Look Like?

Black cherries are characterized by their dark red, almost black color that gives them their name. Their skin is glossy and smooth, adding to their visual appeal.

close-up of black cherries

In terms of size, black cherries are typically medium-sized, although this can vary depending on the specific variety.

There are a few things to look out for when buying black cherries at the grocery store. Fresh, ripe black cherries should have a deep, dark color and glossy skin.

They should feel firm but not hard. Avoid cherries that are soft, wrinkled, or have blemishes or spots. Also, the stems should be fresh and green, which is a good indication that the cherries are not overripe.

Do Black Cherries Have Seeds?

black cherry pit

Yes, black cherries do have seeds. Each cherry typically contains one seed (or pit) located in the center of the fruit. The seed is hard and inedible, so it needs to be removed before eating or cooking with black cherries.

While the presence of seed means a bit of extra work when preparing black cherries, it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of their unique and delicious flavor.

How To Make Black Cherries Taste Good

Making black cherries taste even better is all about how you prepare and serve them.

  • Choose wisely: When buying black cherries, look for firm, glossy, and deep dark colors. These are usually the freshest and have the best flavor.
  • Serve them chilled: Black cherries taste great when they’re slightly chilled. Just pop them in the fridge for a bit before eating. The cool temperature can enhance their sweetness and make them even more refreshing.
  • Pair with complementary flavors: Black cherries pair well with various flavors. Try them with a dollop of fresh cream or a sprinkle of chopped mint. The creaminess of the cream or the freshness of the mint can balance the sweetness of the cherries and make them taste even better.
  • Use in salads: Add pitted black cherries to your salads. They can add a sweet and tart flavor that complements the other ingredients and makes the salad more interesting.


Here are some popular recipes that feature black cherries:

  • Black Cherry Ice Cream: This recipe from Barefeet In The Kitchen uses frozen cherries, heavy cream, almond extract, whole milk, and vanilla extract to create a refreshing dessert.
  • Sweet Dark Cherry Cobbler: Bunny’s Warm Oven offers a recipe for a cobbler that uses dark sweet cherries, butter, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder.
  • Black Cherry Cheesecake Bars: Scientifically Sweet has a recipe for cheesecake bars that incorporate cream cheese, dark brown sugar, frozen black cherries, plain yogurt, and quick oats.
  • Sweet Black Cherry Crisp: Paula Deen’s recipe for a crisp uses granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, thawed frozen cherries, quick-cooking oats, and a few other ingredients.
  • Black Cherry Cup Cookies: Erica’s Recipes provides a cookie recipe with a homemade cherry filling and a touch of cinnamon and brandy.

Side Dishes

Black cherries can also be used to create flavorful side dishes.

  • Black Rice Salad with Cherries and Plums: This recipe from Food & Wine pairs black cherries with black rice, plums, and other fresh ingredients for a unique and colorful side dish.
  • Cherry Empanadillas: This recipe, also from Food & Wine, uses cherries in a sweet and savory pastry that can be served as a side dish or a dessert.
  • Luxardo-Style Cherries: This recipe creates a cherry garnish for a variety of dishes and cocktails.

Remember, the key to a great dish is to use fresh, ripe cherries.

Black Cherry FAQs

What is the difference between cherry and black cherry?

Black cherries and regular cherries are indeed different in flavor. While both have a characteristic cherry taste, black cherries tend to have a deeper, richer flavor. They have a sweet, full-bodied taste with a hint of tartness. On the other hand, regular cherries can range from sweet to tart, but their flavor is generally less complex than black cherries.

What is the sweet taste of early summer in black cherries?

The sweet taste of early summer in black cherries is a delightful experience. As the weather warms up, black cherries come into season and reach their peak of flavor. They offer a deep, sweet taste that’s perfectly balanced with a slight tartness. This combination of sweetness, tartness, and a hint of earthiness makes black cherries a true taste of early summer.

How do black cherries resemble Bing cherries in appearance and taste?

Black cherries and Bing cherries are quite similar in both appearance and taste. Both varieties have a dark, almost black color when ripe. In terms of taste, they both offer a sweet flavor with a hint of tartness. However, black cherries are often described as having a deeper, more complex flavor than Bing cherries.

How do wild black cherries taste compared to cultivated sweet cherries?

Wild black cherries have a more complex flavor than cultivated sweet cherries. They are sweet, but a slight tartness and an earthy undertone balance their sweetness. On the other hand, cultivated sweet cherries are typically sweeter and less tart, with a simpler flavor profile.

What do black cherries smell like when crushed?

Some people also describe a subtle, almond-like scent due to the presence of a compound called benzaldehyde. This pleasant aroma adds to the overall sensory experience of enjoying black cherries.

My Tasty Thoughts

In my kitchen, black cherries have always been a favorite raw and ice cream.

However, black cherries have a relatively short peak season. This means that they are not readily available year-round. And while you can find canned or frozen black cherries, they don’t offer the same taste experience as fresh ones.

Additionally, preparing black cherries can be a task due to their hard, inedible seeds. It requires patience to pit them, especially if you’re using a large quantity for a recipe.

If you can test a few at the grocery store or farmers’ market, you’ll quickly realize how delicious they are. And let’s hope they’re on sale when you do.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.