Chukar Cherries: A Yakima Valley Gem

Prosser, Washington, located in the Yakima Valley, has a long tradition of agricultural excellence. This is particularly evident by the 30 plus wineries located throughout the area. But it was cherries, not grapes that propelled a small farm into a well established leader in the dried fruit and fine gifts industry.

Chukar Cherries, which opened a manufacturing facility and storefront in Prosser in 1988, started out as an attempt to utilize cherries left on the trees after the harvest. Its mission was to transform tree-ripened local fruits and nuts into freshly made fruit and chocolate gifts of the highest quality.

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What is Chukar Cherries’ secret? First it is their commitment to this promise: Nothing with the Chukar Cherries label on it contains sulfites, artificial colorings and flavorings, preservatives, trans-fat or gluten. Everything is made using local fruit and the finest ingredients. The chocolates are made by hand, using pure cacoa and natural colorings. Another key is having the fruit so close to to the factory. This ensures the freshest possible fruit at the time of drying.

In 1992 Chukar Cherries launched its second store in the famous Pike Street Market, a hot spot at Seattle’s waterfront which receives ten million visitors a year.

If you have the good fortune to visit one of the two major Chukar Cherries storefronts, you will experience first hand, the result of their unique fruit drying process (rotating air tunnel) combined with the addition of high quality chocolate. This technique produces concentrated pure fruit flavor, high in natural sugars.

Visitors of the the Chukar Cherries’ storefronts are encourages to try some of the many free samples. The cabernet dark chocolate covered cherries, and milk chocolate covered honey pecans are very popular choices. If you can’t make up your mind as to which is your favorite, there are many there are many assortments to choose from. There are also a great variety of gift sets available.

Most of the Chukar Cherries are a bit on the spendy side, but they are well worth it for the additional cost. And if you need a gift for one of those hard to get people, there is bound to be something just perfect for them.

The Prosser storefront location is 320 Wine County Road. You can also request a free catalog or order on-line by going to http://www.chukar.com. Shipping is convenient, but the cost for small orders can be expensive. To check out their recipes, you can visit http://blog.chukar.com. The Chukar Cherries Facebook page can be accessed at http://www.facebook.com/ChukarCherries.

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