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Cherries, a miracle of goodness Puglia is also well-known for its magnificent “Ferrovia” cherries, grown in the areas of Conversano and Turi.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, they have outstanding properties: they fight free radicals and aging of the skin, they’re diuretic, depurative and promote sound sleep
by Luigi Formisano
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Cherries. Photo Archivio Fotogramma

Cherries are a very ancient fruit which in the Neolithic age were already being eaten by our ancestors. In 72 A.D., Lucius Licinius Lucullus brought some cherries to Rome from Cerasunte, a Turkish city situated on the Black Sea, to transplant them into his garden: that’s why in the dialect of some parts of Italy, they are called “cerase” from the Greek “kérasos”.

Puglia has always been a reference point in cherry-growing: in 1648 the Register of the Procurer General of the Chapter of St. Leone in Castellana records a purchase of cherries to present as a gift to the Mother Superior of the Benedictine monastery in Conversano.

Puglia is Italy’s leading cherry-producing area: about 500,000 quintals from 14,000 hectares of cherry-farms. Turi and Conversano, both in the Bari province, are renowned for the production of the “Ferrovia” variety, prized world-wide.

The earliest information about the Ferrovia cherry dates back to 1935, when the first tree of this variety appeared, perhaps planted by a German soldier or an emigrant. As the tree was near the railroad crossing (Ferrovie del Sud-Est), about 900 meters from the outskirts of Sammichele di Bari, the townsfolk called it “Ferrovì”.

Cherries have a multitude of properties: they fight free radicals (due to the presence of flavonoids), prevent the aging of the skin (thanks to their high vitamin A and C content), they contain potassium, calcium and phosphorus and therefore have considerable alkalizing power. They are diuretic, depurative and laxative; they promote sleep (containing melatonin); the presence of malic acid favors the digestion of sugars and the activity of the liver. Thanks to all these characteristics, in May and June we can happily serve them at the table and enjoy their perfume, color and above all their taste.

 

 

  Nutrition facts per 100 grams:

 

- edible part: 86%

- energy: 38 Kcal

- proteins: 0,8 g

- fats: 0,1 g

- glucyds: 9 g

- fiber: 1,0 mg

- iron: 0,6 mg

- calcium: 30 mg

- phosphorus: 18 mg

- thiamin (Vit B1): 0,03 mg

- riboflavin (Vit B2): 0,03 mg

- niacin (Vit PP): 0,5 mg

- Vit A: 19 mg

- Vit C: 11 mg

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