My older brother is a cherry enthusiast. Every Christmas, he could count on finding a box of chocolate covered cherries under the Christmas tree with his name on it. You know, the kind with the sticky, syrupy filling, and the remnants of what was once a cherry in the center?1 These Chukar Cherries are nothing like those.
Appropriately, it was my brother who sent me this box of Chukar Cherries. I feel like I've missed out on so much in life by avoiding chocolate covered fruit, and it was all due to my own misconceptions. These were plump, meaty cherries with intense flavor, covered in lovely, thick chocolate. Here's a little bit about each kind in the box I received.
In the Cabernet Cherry, I didn't really taste the wine, but the tart cherry was wonderful. It was sour at first, but it had a nice bitter flavor. The outside chocolate was thick and only mildly bitter. My husband described this one as fresh.
Classic Cherry had a very sweet and sticky chocolate coating. The cherry within was mild and tender, and sour on the finish. The chocolate reminded me of hot cocoa, but while tasty, this wasn't my favorite of the bunch.
The Black Forest Cherry had a gorgeous dusting of bitter chocolate, and it did taste like black forest cake. The bittersweet cocoa was just right, and the cherry was woodsy with a slightly sour finish. The balance of bitter and sweet was perfect, and this was my favorite of the bunch.
Truffle Cherry was enrobed in sweet and smooth chocolate, with a very sweet, mild cherry center. Like the Classic Cherry, it was by no means bad, just not my favorite.
The Amaretto Rainiers were very sweet with an odd, medicinal note ar the start (probably from the liquor). The cherries were the plumpest of the bunch, but a little overly sweet.
Cherry Rouge had a strong cherry flavor, though my husband thought it was reminiscent of strawberries. These were nice and tart, but I didn't love the extra cherry flavor.
On the whole, I loved the thick chocolate, and the dried cherries in the center were wonderful. It seems a shame to call them dried cherries, because they were so plump and tender! The dark chocolate-covered varieties were definitely my favorites. Chukar Cherries are a Washington specialty, but they are easy to order online.
1 I have heard that some people, for example my brother and my husband, do like cherry cordials.