Summer vacations to Door County Wisconsin and Traverse City Michigan should be on the bucket list for foodies and anyone who loves any thing cherry-flavored.
- Cherry pie
- Cherry ice cream
- Cherry turnovers
- Cherry margaritas
Door County is famous for Montmorency cherries and each year yields close to 9 million pounds of cherries. Naturally, everything is cherry red throughout Door County. There’s not a restaurant, inn or gift shop where you can’t find dozens of products featuring these tart little cherries.
We tasted our first cherry margarita at a place called Fred & Fuzzy’s, a delightful place in Sister Bay. We sat with our toes in the water and listened to a band while sipping this unusual take on margaritas. The White Gull Inn in Fish Creek is famous for its cherry stuffed French Toast, which was honored as the Best Breakfast in the U.S. by Good Morning America.
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Get Some Montmorency Cherries for Your Home
National Cherry Festival in Michigan
There was a time that Door County farmers produced more tart cherries than anywhere else in the United States. That honor now goes to Traverse City, Michigan , just across lake from Door County. The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City in early July celebrates the bounty of more 1.3 million tart cherry trees in Lelanau County, Michigan.
And for a real treat, take the S.S. Badger, a car ferry that runs across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc Wisconsin to Ludington Michigan. It saves time, allowing for more time and $$ to eat cherries.
My favorite place for Michigan cherries is a place called The Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor. Their national motto is “One Nation, Red with Cherries, Pie and Ice Cream for All!” Now that’s a political statement we can all get behind.
What I love about The Cherry Republic, besides more than 150 cherry-flavored products for sale, is the ruling hunta. Bob Sutherland went to 15 grueling years of college without accomplishing a degree, but instead started baking a cherry chunk cookie that he named the boomchunka, “just because it’s a fun word to say.”
It’s The Cherry Republic’s top selling item, which he keeps track of using the world’s largest and only Cherry Abacus, “because using a calculator or computer would make it feel like work.”
And he reminds us all, as we enjoy the bounties of cherry harvest season, or any other season, to thank the American farmer for all their hard work because “otherwise, you’d be eating grubs and cockroaches.”
A cherry cobbler is smelling up my kitchen now. It’s time to pull out a big tub of ice cream – and don’t forget to thank the American dairy farmer for that one as well.