Nutrient Facts, Origin, And Traditional Uses Of Maraschino Cherries

Learn the uses of maraschino cherries and make your recipes more delicious

Maraschino cherries take their name from the manufacturing process used for preserving them. Sour marasca cherries from the Dalmatian Coast were initially soaked in maraschino liqueur to preserve them. Maraschino liqueur is an Italian distilled spirit. Commercially available maraschino cherries in the United States are treated with brine and stored in sugar syrup.

In this article, we will walk you through the origin, nutrient content, and traditional uses of maraschino cherries.

What Are Maraschino Cherries?

  • Preserved, sweetened cherries, typically made from Royal Ann, Rainier, or other light-colored sweet cherries are referred to as maraschino cherries. A brine solution, containing calcium chloride and sulfur dioxide is used for preserving the selected cherries. The brine solution and calcium salts are used to bleach the fruit and remove its flavor. After that cherries are soaked in a suspension of red food dye, sugar syrup, and other components.

Origin Of Maraschino Cherries

  • In the 1920s, Oregon Agricultural College professor Ernest H. Wiegand developed the modern maraschino cherries. This gave cherry farmers an innovative way to preserve their sweet Royal Anne cherries without alcohol. Oregon is regarded as the birthplace of the modern maraschino cherry industry because the process of making preserved cherries originated in Oregon. Nowadays, several varieties of maraschino cherries can be bought in different flavors and colors including green, purple, blue, orange, and yellow.

Natural varieties of maraschino cherries that lack artificial colors or preservatives can also be bought from the market. These use beet or radish to color the fruit naturally. They are a bit softer and darker than the mass-market versions but have the same sweetness. Imported varieties of maraschino cherries are also available that are developed by preserving the cherries in their juice. They are smaller and contain the natural sour flavor of cherries.

Nutrient Facts

The nutrient content of maraschino cherries is discussed below:


3.5 ounces of Maraschino cherries contain about 38 grams of sugar. Since the sugar content of maraschino cherries is higher, the intake should be limited to 6 to 9 teaspoons. A higher intake can promote weight gain and dental decay.


  • Maraschino cherries contain a small number of minerals. 3.5 ounce serving of cherries provides 21 mg of potassium and 54 mg of calcium. In addition, 1.5 mg of vitamin K and 45 international units of Vitamin A are also present in the same number of servings. Maraschino cherries also contain small amounts of zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Artificial Colors

  • Unlike fresh cherries that get their color from antioxidants, maraschino cherries obtain their color from artificial coloring.

Traditional Uses Of Maraschino Cherries

  • Maraschino cherries adorn several classic cocktails from Manhattans to Pina Coladas. They are also used to add a dash of bright color on top of whipped cream, ice cream sundaes, and other desserts. Chopped or mashed maraschino cherries find their use in batters and sweet doughs.

In addition, the syrup of maraschino cherries can be used to sweeten the dough or can be incorporated into the color frosting. Cherries can also be incorporated into elaborate cocktail garnishes.

Storage Instructions

The higher sugar content of maraschino cherries helps increase their shelf life. When stored properly they can last for a very long time. Here are a few storage instructions for maraschino cherries:

  • Unopened jars should be stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep the jars tightly sealed once you open them.
  • Tightly sealed jars can last in refrigerators for up to a year.
  • Maraschino cherries can be safely frozen. However, they might turn mushy when thawed. So, it is better to keep them in the refrigerator.

To add an exciting flavor to your food use Mike’s Amazing Maraschino Cherries. Visit our website to place your order or call us at 201-596-3717. We are located in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

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