Cherries in Yiddish and Other Languages
I picked up two kinds of sweet cherries and two kinds of sour cherries at the market on Friday. Since this post is in English, I could have written that I got four kinds of cherries, but in Yiddish, sweet cherries (karshn קאַרשן ) and sour cherries (vaynshl װײַנשל ) have different names and are considered two entirely different ingredients. Botanically, they are two different species. Sweet cherries are prunus avium and sour cherries are prunus cerasus.
It is nice and cool now, and I will get around to baking something, but so far, I am just nibbling them on their own.
Montrmorency Cherries are face-scrunchingly sour, but kapow, they come with an amazingly bright, lollypop-cherry finish that makes you want the next one even more. Many cherry websites will tell you that sour cherries need to be cooked, and are too sour to eat out of hand, but you may find you get used to them almost immediately. The Morello cherries are tart, but not as sour as the Montmorency cherries, and they have a big, mouth-filling cherry and berry flavor. The Ranier Cherries are mildly sweet and flowery. The Bing cherries are intensely sweet and winy. They are the cherries immortalized in countless Yiddish poems and songs (like this one), and the phrases below.
ברױן װי אַ קאַרש
Brown as a cherry
שװאַרץ װי אַ קאַרש
Black as a cherry
אַז עס גײט די סדרה קרח, קומט אױף׃ קאַרשן, רעטעך, כרײן
In the week of Korakh (two weeks ago, this year), cherries, radishes, and horseradish appear (In Yiddish, the initial letters of these words spell “korakh”)
װי זײ שטײען און גײען
As they are; on their own
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