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Discovering Chilean Cherries: an export delicacy

Discovering Chilean Cherries: an export delicacy

By: Hernan Claro - 28 November, 2023

Chilean Cherries

If you haven’t tried Chilean cherries, what are you waiting for? This delicious fruit stands out not only for its nutritional value but also for its delicious flavor and its versatility for preparing various dishes.

Did you know that Chile is the biggest cherry exporter in the world? Here we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this delicacy which has consolidated itself as one of the main products of our fruticulture.

Why are Chilean Cherries so delicious?

Chilean cherries will delight your palate with their sweet and juicy flavor. Their intense color, which changes from vibrant red to darkest shades, is a feast for the eyes and a sign of its various health benefits.

This small fruit is a complete nutritional source with essential vitamins such as C and E, and minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Moreover, Chilean cherries help with cancer prevention thanks to their abundance of antioxidants, which fight free radicals. They also stand out for their capability to fight fluid retention, making them a refreshing and beneficial option for kidney health.

We can add to this their versatility since you can eat them alone or use them to prepare a variety of desserts and dishes.

The three main varieties of Chilean cherries are Lapins, Santina, and Regina, as they represented 78% of the total exported in the 2022-2023 season. Other varieties are Bing, Sweetheart, Royal Dawn, Skeena, Kordia, Rainer, and Stella.

Where and when to find Chilean Cherries

Did you know that the Chilean Cherry season can run from November to February? You can find them in supermarkets and green markets all over  the country.

The main exporting regions for this delicacy are the Maule and O’Higgins, which provided 177,763 and 167,295 tons respectively last season, according to a report by the Market Consultant IQuonsulting.

The harvest starts in October and is a cause for festivities and celebrations. For example, the Cherry Expo is celebrated at Plaza de Armas in Romeral, an event that serves as a meeting point for producers, businesses, educational institutions, and various organizations linked to the industry.

Chile: The World’s leading Cherry Exporter

Having become the world’s leading cherry exporter, Chile has managed to slowly leave behind the complications that came up during the pandemic.

According to figures from The Chilean Exporters Association (Asoex from its Spanish acronym) our country exported 415,398 tons of cherries in the 2022-2023 season, showing an increase of 17% regarding the previous season. Cherries represented 24.83% of the fresh fruits exported from the national territory.

The main market for Chilean cherries is China, which received 88% of the exports last season. This is mainly explained by the tradition of giving cherries as gifts during Chinese New Year as a symbol of good omen and prosperity.

After China, the United States and South Korea are also significant destinations for Chilean cherries, highlighting the global expansion of their presence. Have you tried them yet?

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