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Cherums are small rounded fruits, measuring approximately 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter with . They have golden-yellow skins covered in an all-over reddish-purple blush and speckled with pale lenticels. The skins may darken to a more plum-like shade as they mature. The flesh is an amber yellow with slight red staining near the skin and a very small central stone or seed. Cherums are crisp and juicy and offer a very sweet flavor with rich plum-like notes.
Cherums are available for a limited time in the early summer.
Cherums are stone fruits created through a natural cross between a cherry and a plum. They are botanically classified as Prunus salicina x P. avium. The hybrids were first developed by the same breeders who created of the pluot and the aprium. Cherums exhibit more of the cherry characteristics, whereas fruits with more plum-like characteristics are called ‘plerries.’ Cherums are sold under the names Pixie Sweet® and Verry Cherry Plums®.
Cherums are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, iron, and protein. They are also a source of vitamin C and flavonoids which provide beneficial antioxidants. Most cultivars are very high in sugar with an average of 19 to 25 Brix.
Cherums are most often enjoyed raw due to their size and are used in baked goods and other dessert applications. Wash and deseed the fruits, leaving the peels on or removing them before preparing. Cook them down for jams, jellies or preserves, or chutneys, or add them to tarts, muffins or pies. They can be used for ice creams or sorbets or for flavoring smoothies or cocktails. Cherums store well and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
The cherry-plum hybrid Cherums are not to be confused with myrobalan plums, which are also referred to as ‘cherry plums.’ Myrobalan plums are not hybrids and are native to western Asia near the Caucasus Mountains. They are more common in Europe and the United Kingdom and are most often used as rootstock for other plum or cherry varieties in the United States.
The first Cherums were developed by Zaiger's Genetics of Modesto, CA in the early 2000s and released around 2010. They were originally bred to help growers produce hardier, high sugar cherry hybrids that would offer a longer harvesting season. After improvements were made to the original hybrid, including an additional cross with a second cherry variety, Zaiger’s patented the new variety under the name ‘Sweet Pixie’ in 2012. Today there are dozens of different named Cherum varieties including Flavor Blast and Bella Red, both of which have later harvest dates. Cherums can be hard to find as they are only grown by a few select orchards and are available for a limited time during the summer. They are most likely spotted at farmer’s markets and some big chain stores in the United States in California, Texas, and Wisconsin, and in China, Singapore and England.
Recipes that include Cherums. One is easiest, three is harder.
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