We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Maraschino Cherries?

Mary Elizabeth
By
Updated Feb 28, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Maraschino cherries (pronounced mair uh SKEE noh or mair uh SHEE noh) are a specially prepared type of cherry, a fruit that grows on a tree and has a single pit. The word cherry comes from the name of a Turkish town, Cerasus, and cherries have been known for over 2,000 years.

There are two basic types of cherries, sweet and sour. Although maraschino cherries can be made from any of the many kinds of cherry, they are usually made with the sweet cherry known as a Royal Ann. Most cherries that are made into maraschinos come from Oregon and Michigan.

Maraschino cherries take the first part of their name from the cordial with which it used to be flavored. The cordial is made from the marasca cherry, so a maraschino cherry was originally a cherry flavored with cherry cordial.

Today, the maraschino liqueur is too expensive, and maraschino cherries are produced by being macerated in flavored sugar syrup. Sometimes almond is added for red cherries and mint added for green cherries, but they are not dyed until after the flavoring process is complete.

At one time, the dye used for maraschino cherries was a harmful substance, but the FDA has now banned its use. An experiment in the 1990's worked on the idea of using radish pigment as coloring to create these cherries. And the Eola Cherry Company developed a wider range of colors, including orange, electric blue, and pink. The company was purchased by the Oregon Cherry Growers in 2006.

Traditional uses of maraschino cherries include:

• decorating the center of the pineapple slices in pineapple upside-down cake,
• topping off ice cream sundaes, banana splits, and hot fudge sundaes,
• in fruit salads,
• as a decoration on baked ham,
• as a garnish for a number of alcoholic beverages, for example, whiskey sours, and
• as a cupcake garnish.

You can purchase them with or without stems, depending on your intended use. Although the maraschino cherry undergoes a preservative process, it should be stored in the refrigerator, once the packaging has been opened.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth , Writer
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for WiseGeek, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.

Discussion Comments

By anon142617 — On Jan 13, 2011

Has anyone read how they are made? Sounds like a chemistry lesson: chloride, calcium, yuck! Thank God I don't like them!

By carpusdiem — On Sep 05, 2009

To-anon23071

Every time you eat a cherry you will wonder if it will either make you sick or kill you! Do you need the stress!

Chuck them!

By anon23071 — On Dec 15, 2008

i just dipped an entire of jar of maraschino cherries in chocolate & then noticed the expiration date on the jar lid was over 3 mos. ago. I tasted one and thought it tasted a little strange. what would the cherries taste like if they had gone bad? do they actually go bad? would they possibly have gone bad just three mos past the expiration date? Should I trash them and start all over?

By audrey39 — On Dec 10, 2008

I am interested in covering cherries with just chocolate - no fondant. Could you tell me how long chocolate covered cherries would last. Want to make them for Christmas.

Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth

Writer

Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.