Do Cherries Need to Be Refrigerated?
Cherries are one of the most popular summer fruits and are great for snacking on their own or using in pies and other desserts.
Cherries can often be found at the grocery store when they’re in season, which runs from spring through summer. But, what happens to cherries after they’ve been picked? Do they need to be refrigerated? Can you leave them out at room temperature? And, how long can you keep them around before they spoil?
Yes. For optimal storage, you will need to refrigerate cherries. When it comes to keeping cherries fresh, cold storage is the key. If you leave cherries at room temperature, they will start to spoil quickly.
According to experts, cherries start to lose their quality in just one hour at room temperature. So, it’s best to always store them in the fridge.
Cherries are delicious, juicy, and fun to eat. But they can be temperamental when it comes to storage. They bruise easily, and they’re not stored at their best unless they’re kept cold.
Refrigerating cherries slows down the ripening process, which means that it will take longer for the fruit to become soft and overripe. Keeping cherries in the refrigerator will also help them retain their bright color.
When refrigerating them, keep them in a paper bag or bowl with a paper towel or cloth over the top. When stored properly in the fridge, cherries can stay fresh for 1-2 weeks.
How Long Can Cherries Sit Out at Room Temp?
Cherries are highly perishable and they start to degrade very quickly when left at room temperature. Their shelf life depends on whether they have been purchased from an orchid or a grocery store but generally, they can sit out about 1-2 days at room temperature.
The spoilage might accelerate if you store the cherries in direct sunlight or in a hot area of your panty.
If not stored properly, you can expect mold growth after just a couple of days. So, storing them at room temperature should only be considered if you intend to consume them within a day after purchase.
Do Store-Bought Cherries Need to Be Refrigerated?
Yes. If you have purchased a container of cherries from your local store, it’s best to refrigerate them. Generally, cherries should be refrigerated no matter whether you have picked them up from an orchid or bought them from a grocer.
This is because cold storage helps preserve their quality and the refrigerator minimizes exposure to environmental changes.
For the sake of plumpness and quality, it is recommended that you consume the cherries within 5 days of purchase. You can eat them at the 7-10-day mark if there are no visible signs of spoilage.
How Long Will Cherries Last on the Counter?
Cherries decay very quickly when left at room temperature. While you can store them on the counter, it’s not advisable if you don’t plan to consume them within a day or two.
This is because even if the storage conditions are good, cherries can decay more in an hour on the counter than they can in a day in the refrigerator. Generally, cherries can last for 1-2 days on the counter.
However, they may degrade faster if storage conditions are less than ideal. Cherries are very sensitive to sunlight so be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight.
How Do You Store Cherries?
Storing cherries in the refrigerator is the most optimal way to preserve their freshness. For best results, place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
Store them in the fruit and veggie crisper. Don’t place them near odorous items. Also, make sure that the cherries remain dry.
Another thing to keep in mind is that cherries don’t need to be washed until you are ready to consume them. If you follow these guidelines, cherries will last for at least a week in your fridge.
If you wish to store them for longer, you will need to freeze them. Storing them in the freezer requires a little preparation.
How Do You Keep Cherries Fresh Longer?
You can preserve the freshness of your cherries by keeping them in your refrigerator, dry and away from odorous items. For long-term storage, you can freeze them. However, keep in mind that frozen cherries are usually only best for ice-creams, jams, and smoothies.
If you wish to freeze them to keep them fresh longer, follow these guidelines:
- Sort the cherries and toss any moldy fruit you find. Then remove the cherries’ stem and wash and dry them.
- Next, lay the cherries in single layers on a baking sheet and then slide the baking sheet in the freezer to flash freeze them. Leave them in the freezer for a few hours.
- Finally, you can transfer the cherries to the safe container of the freezer. Alternatively, you can also place them in a freezer bag.
- To defrost, put them into a bowl for about an hour and then use them.
Can I Eat Wrinkled Cherries?
When the cherries are wrinkled, it’s a sign that they are starting to spoil. Technically, you can eat them as long as they are not moldy or you don’t see any other signs of spoilage.
Wrinkled cherries may be safe to eat but they won’t taste nearly as good as a firm, ripe cherries. Before eating them, look for the common signs of spoilage. These include discoloration, soft or mushy texture, and bruising.
If the mold has appeared, then it’s a clear sign that the cherries are rotten. In this case, you should discard them. It’s not safe to eat spoiled cherries.
If they are moldy, the bacteria inside can release mycotoxins when you consume the cherries. Not only will this be off-putting, but it can also cause gastrointestinal distress.
In summary, given that cherries are so fragile and delicate, they will continue to be susceptible to decay as long as they sit out at room temperature. And while consuming canned or frozen cherries won’t pose any health risks, the same can’t be said for organically-grown or fresh cherries.
It’s best to keep your cherries in the refrigerator to maintain shelf life and preserve their deliciousness (and you may want to consider pre-portioning them if you buy them whole).
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