Where do fake cherries come from and How are artificial cherries made?

There are bright red cherries, sometimes found in pie fillings and cakes, that have nothing in them remotely resembling a real cherry.

In the 1940’s a synthetic cherry was created, comprised of a sodium alginate solution, artificially flavored and colored with a red dye. Drops of the solution are allowed to fall into a bath of calcium salt.

A “skin” of insoluble calcium alginate clings to each drop. The drops are allowed to cure and eventually, as calcium ions penetrate the center, they gel into sweet, unwholesome cherries.”

You may be tempted to shove aside the cherry on your ice cream sundae with disdain, but your fears are needless, this is a maraschino cherry, a real cherry that has simply been dyed.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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