Well, my great, great, great grandfather came from Croatia as a descendent of the marasca cherry. Fast forward a few decades, post prohibition, post Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover (helloooo, those are presidents, people) and a few formulation tweaks later (thank you Mr. Wiegand), the modern maraschino comes from light sweet cherries such as the Royal Ann, Rainier or Emperor Francis varieties. These cherries have a yellow skin color with a red blush. However, maraschinos can be made from most varieties of sweet cherries, but not from sour cherries (the kind used for cherry pie). Most U.S. light sweet cherries are cultivated in the Pacific Northwest and Michigan. For a longer history lesson, Wikipedia's entry gets high marks for accuracy: Click here.
No, silly! There is a whole harvest/brine/pit/rinse/infuse/pack/pasteurize process that has to happen to make CherryMan maraschinos, but they absolutely are made from fresh cherries grown in the USA. Check out this nifty "How Maraschinos are Made" video narrated by Gray & Company's own president, Josh Reynolds.
Boy, if I had a nickel... okay, for the millionth time; Red Dye #40 has been proven safe by the FDA for food coloring usage. You will find it in hundreds of products from beverages to candy and cookies. Why all the hype, you ask? In the early 1980s, red food dye received some negative attention as a possible carcinogen. Importantly, the coloring in question was FD&C Red #3, not Red #40. Of equal importance, the scientific evidence was inconclusive, and the FDA never placed a ban on Red #3. Some food companies nevertheless switched to Red #40 just to avoid the issue, but this was not a concern at Gray & Company as we had been using Red #40 all along.
Well, if you're anything like my die hard fans with an insatiable appetite for maraschinos, one jar might last you a day at best. Should you leave your vacuum-sealed, air tight glass jar unopened (where's the fun in that?!?), the cherries will remain delicious for up to three years. Over time, light and an infinitesimally slow rate of oxygen transmission will spoil the flavor first, and then the fruit. Once opened and refrigerated, the cherries are good for three months, but really, how could you let that happen!!! The back of the fridge is for Aunt Betty's homemade chutney and the habanero okra that seemed like a good idea at the time. CherryMan cherries? Keep those front and center!
*Shelf Life for CherryMan Farm to Market Maraschinos
CherryMan Farm to Market Maraschinos cherries are vacuum sealed and pasteurized. The shelf of an unopened jar is 18+ months. Because these cherries contain no preservatives, the shelf life of an opened container depends on storage conditions. Like other fresh foods, such as prepared fruits, salsa or yogurt, CherryMan Farm to Market Maraschinos should stay fresh for up to three or more weeks if kept refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. Spoilage is easy enough to detect. Like fresh bread, mold will eventually grow on the top layer of syrup and cherries, and that's your signal to dispose of the remaining cherries, recycle the jar, and open a new one!
Yes. Refrigerate when opened and place on center shelf in front of all other products. In fact, who needs groceries anyway, that's what takeout is for! Go ahead and fill your entire refrigerator with my delicious maraschino products.
Formaldeh-WHAT? Seriously, I get this question. As if we're running a high school biology lab here and picking apart frogs. As if the FDA declared an "Opposite Day" and allowed food companies to put formaldehyde in a jar! No, my friend, this is one totally crazy urban myth. Maybe you'd find it sneak into food made in other parts of the world, but not in the USA, and not in our factory.
CherryMan believes in the mantra "moderation in all things." So there is a place for sweets in your diet, just not too much. CherryMan maraschinos are a delicious treat to enjoy as part of balanced diet. They are fat-free, gluten-free, sodium free, kosher, and have just 2 grams of sugar per cherry. You'd have to eat twenty CherryMan cherries to equal the sugar in a can of cola or total calories in a donut. So go ahead, top it off with a few cherries, but don't skip the fresh fruit and veggies, and get some exercise everyday.
Suuuuuuuure... and pigs can fly. No, of course they don't stay in your stomach. You digest maraschinos just as you would any other fruit or candy!
To-may-to, To-mah-to. It's all in the em-pha-sis. "Mara-skeeno or Mara-sheeno" both work!