About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, January 12, 2009
Soured Off
Last year, an article in Epicure stated that a certain brand of sour dough bread contained no yeast, something that more than a few bakeries around town are now claiming for their sour dough breads.

For the record, sour dough breads do contain yeast, without it, they would just be flatbreads.

It's early in the year, but Epicure is at it again. From a recent article on cherries.

'...Some of the favoured sweet varieties are bing, van, rons and supreme, but only occasionally are they labelled by variety in the markets. The best-known sour cherries are morello and maraschino, with a slightly tart edge that is perfect for cooking...'

According to Wikipedia,

'Since 1940, "maraschino cherries" have been defined as "cherries which have been dyed red, impregnated with sugar and packed in a sugar sirup flavored with oil of bitter almonds or a similar flavor.'

Neither a fresh cherry nor sour, it's a manufactured item available all year round. Cook with it, hardly. It is mostly used for its decorative looks on cakes and in cocktails.
  posted at 3:27 pm

At 10:22 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

One just must love "authority".
I've told you about my boys physics teacher haven't I. Sign over his desk that reads
Always question authority.

At 11:09 am, Blogger Gigi said...

I can't imagine what one would cook with them. They're barely edible. Drinkable, maybe. ;)

What's up with Epicure?

At 11:17 am, Blogger Intrepid in the Kitchen- JdG: said...

I found through dictionary.com that maraschino is a cordial or liqueur made from the Italian wild marasca cherry and that cherries preserved in this liqueur were the first maraschino cherries recorded in around 1820 (though this process of preserving the marasca cherries was far older than that).
Perhaps our writer meant the marasca cherry? It seems that the terms are sometimes interchangeable as the marasca is where the original 'preserved' maraschino derived from?
An explanation might have been nice though!

At 12:41 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, that's dead right, take nothing for granted. I guess with epicure, there don't seem to be sub editors, let alone sub editors with food knowledge.

Hi gigi, that's the spirit. Iread a tale of a girl who ordered many dozen cocktails via room service. When mamagement checked, the drinks were untouched except for a missing maraschino cherry.

Hi jdg, I think it was a case of the writer not checking properly. The marasca cherry doesn't grow well outside its homeland and has long been replaced by other varieties for maraschino cherries, mostly sweet as far as I can tell, which is probably why bitter almond flavour is used, to mimic the sour taste. I can't say about anywhere else, but in Australia, morello cherries seem to be the only sour ones available, or it could be that that name is now generic.

At 12:54 pm, Blogger George Biron said...

Hi Neil
Just picked some Kentish cherries at a wonderful property called Mooleric a real version of Faraway Downs. Kentish seem to be a little smaller than the Morellos at Ken Campbells' and a fraction sweeter.
So many left un picked so instead of letting them go to waste we picked them for Grappa.
Love the Intrepids detective work.
Best for 2009

At 2:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maraschino cherries used to scare me when I was a little girl -- the color, so unnatural -- the taste, so sweet. And the texture -- gooey. I haven't eated one in years.

At 11:36 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi george, great to hear about another variety of sour cherry. We don't mind eating fresh morellos, so I think Kentish would be pretty good too. Ah, home brew! Reckon cherries would make something special. We've made our sour cherry jam, preserved them whole and are currently making cherry vodka.

Hi lydia, I don't blame you, though I do think they look pretty as a cake decoration. It's one item that isn't in our pantry though.

At 12:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I allowed to cry D*ckheads! here, Neil? Oh for a fact, a check, some knowledge:( Good on you for saying it as it is.

Meanwhile, I'm sure my tummy lining is deep red after eating my way through two kilos of morellos in the last three weeks:))

At 10:44 am, Blogger Squishy said...

Bravo Neil

At 11:45 am, Blogger Thermomixer said...

I made chilled sour cherry soup for lunch yesterday with some morellos. It tasted great - v refreshing.

At 3:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Neil
Well done. Keep em honest.

At 5:52 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi duncan, cry out loud! You're also not on your own in liking to eat them straight, they have a much better flavour than sweet cherries.

Hi squishy, thank you.

Hi thermomixer, I reckon that would work a treat. If it cools down, I'll have a go at clafoutis with sour cherries.

Hi elliot, I might get to start my own political party, but I think Don Chipp said it better!

At 7:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*rolls eyes*
Keep them on their toes Neil.

confession - I used to eat those rotten little maraschino cherries by the packet as a small child. My Gran always had a packet in her pantry. I doubt I could stomach one these days.

At 9:15 am, Blogger Ali-K said...

Lets hope epicure is simply in a rut of summer blues like myself (blue at work because I want to be outside enjoying the blue sky). Perhaps as everyone trickles back from holidays things might pick up (especially the spelling...see Melbourne Gastronome).

At 1:38 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi dani, you bet! I can take or leave them but sometimes wonder if cherry ripes use maraschino cherries.

Hi ali-k, I reckon all the changes ought to bump them from their rut!!!

I had a quick look but I'm unsure what the MG reference is about...do you have a link?

At 10:44 am, Blogger Jeanne said...

It's amazing how completely un fact-checked statements get published, while I slog away and agonise over everything I write in my blog lest somebody point out a mistake!!

At 12:59 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi jeanne, I think every blogger agrees with you, I know I do. That's a problem for journalists to resolve, they need to be much better at fact checking and not to think what does it matter. One mistake taints the whole story

At 10:32 am, Blogger Ali-K said...

neil, a very tardy response...I'm sorry.


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