Sour or pie cherries should be harvested when the fruit are full-flavored, somewhat soft, and juicy. (Cherries picked before they are mature will not ripen off the tree.) For immediate use, the cherries can be picked without the stems attached to the fruit. However, quality is best retained during storage if the fruit are harvested with the stems attached. Refrigerate cherries at 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
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