Look for Bing cherries that are:
- Firm and plump
- Shiny with a taut skin
- A deep dark maroon or mahogany red in color
- Attached to bright green stems
- In season
Bing cherries do not ripen further after they are picked. They will be at their tastiest when eaten within a few days of purchase. Among the most delicate of fruits, cherries bruise easily and do not ship well, which is why fresh cherries are rarely available out of season. A Bing cherry typically lasts longer if it has a stem. A green and pliable stem indicates that it is freshly-picked. A dark woody stem or the absence of a stem, however, do not indicate poor quality.
While you usually can select good cherries by examining their firmness, plumpness, and color, this doesn’t absolutely guarantee that they will be at their delicious best. Taste is the best indicator of quality, so it never hurts to ask the seller if you can taste one of the cherries before buying them.
Allow about one cup of fresh cherries per person served. A pound contains approximately four cups of fresh cherries.
After You Get Your Bing Cherries Home
Refrigerate unwashed cherries with the stems attached and in a paper bag, loosely covered container, or perforated plastic bag with holes for ventilation for up to one week. Avoid tightly closed containers or plastic bags at all costs, because that will create moisture that can quickly spoil your cherries. Wash with cold water right before you are ready to use or eat them.