Local cherries are here, but going fast

Local cherries are here, but going fast

The pits: Ontario cherries will last only three weeks (Photo by bensonkua)

A rainy June delayed the season, but Ontario cherries are finally making their annual appearance in desserts across the city. Farmers say the fruit will be around for three weeks, max, so we suggest all 100-mile dieters stock up now. Here, we look at what Toronto chefs are doing with Ontario cherries and list where to find fresh ones in the city.

Summerlicious pastry chefs are fully embracing the short season, including Colen Quinn of Pangaea, whose Niagara shortcake comes with local cherries, apricots and strawberries smothered in crème anglaise.

Zucca Trattoria’s Andrew Milne-Allan is topping his prix fixe with a Neapolitan brioche that includes cherries and fresh ricotta cream. Summerlicious, and this dish, ends July 19.

• We hear that fruit stands are fighting over the smaller-than-usual supply of cherries. Winners so far include Ko Fruit Market (143 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-588-9587), Highland Farms (4750 Dufferin St., 416-736-6606, plus four other GTA locations) and Fiesta Farms (200 Christie St., 416-537-1235), who all have them in stock now. Look for them at the bigger chains, like Sobey’s and Longo’s, early next week.

• Organic cherries are available at Laura’s Feast of Fields stand at the farmers’ markets in Riverdale, Trinity-Bellwoods, Dufferin Grove, The Brickworks and Withrow Park.

• For those more concerned about freshness than pesticides, a drive to Niagara is in order. Picking is now in full force at Cherry Avenue Farms (4303 Cherry Ave., Lincoln, 905-562-5481), the E.D. Smith Cherry Farm (980 Hwy. 8, Winona, 1-888-263-8189) and Puddicombe Estate Farms (1468 Hwy. 8, Winona, 905-643-1015).