Picking Orondo Ruby Cherries In the Summer

A Brand New Cherry
Blushing With Compliments

The Orondo Ruby is a new cherry variety that's making fans across the country. Cherry lovers go wild for the crisp skin, super-sweet golden flesh and juicy cherry perfection. Lovingly grown on the banks of the Columbia River in eastern Washington—where hot summer days and cool river breezes make for perfect growing conditions—Rubies show gorgeous red-blushed skin, a firm bite and tremendous flavor. The Ruby matures earlier in the season than Bings and Rainiers, and grown in small quantities, their window of availability is short. But they store in the fridge like no other cherry. (If you can keep yourself from eating them all.)

Even Cherries Have Patents

In 2008, 4th generation grower Marcus Griggs received a patent for his new cherry variety and decided to cultivate the Orondo Ruby cherries on his own orchards. Since then, Marcus and his family at G&C Farms have had their sleeves rolled up planting thousands of new trees so they can bring Orondo Ruby cherries to you every summer!

Orondo Ruby Out-sweets Rainiers,
Out-lasts Bings*

The higher the acidity and sugars, the bigger the flavor. The Orondo Ruby has proven to have more sugar and acid than a Rainier cherry.

In a 28-day refrigerated storage test, the Orondo Ruby bested Bing and Rainier cherries in:

  • Firmer skin
  • Fewer blemishes
  • Less splits and cracks

*Study performed by WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center from 2011-2013

How Long Are the Rubies Here?

The Orondo Ruby is grown exclusively on the Griggs family orchards in eastern Washington, lovingly cultivated and handpicked at the peak of sweetness. The yield is small compared to other cherries grown across the country, so as our fans already know, there is a limited supply each summer. But boy is it sweet. You can typically find the Orondo Ruby in stores for a few short weeks starting around the beginning of July.

Eat Your Cherry-Loving Heart Out

How do you best enjoy an Orondo Ruby? Every which way.

  • Pop 'em cold
  • Slice and sprinkle over a summer salad
  • Pit and toss in a smoothie
  • Decorate atop a beautiful rustic tart
  • Infuse your summer sparkling water

For recipes and fresh ideas check out our News page.

Chef's Review


by Cynthia Nims, Mon Appétit, LLC


This cherry has a wonderful firm, resilient texture that doesn't seem as soft as other cherries. There is a near springiness to the bite, with good levels of juiciness. The cherry maintains good texture and flavor when cooked (using a clafoutis recipe as a sole sample to date), just not as complex as in its fresh form. Aroma is very slight, though I find cherries typically don't have much distinct aroma in the raw state as do other fruits.


Complexity is a key characteristic of this cherry's flavor. I found that the flavor developed in three distinct waves. At first, a pleasant tartness, which gives way to a hint at exotic fruits (mango, pineapple), then finally rounds out with a buttery richness, almost like butterscotch. It's a surprising array of flavors out of one little cherry. There's an overall brightness in the flavor that extends across the whole spectrum.

Overall Impressions

This is a very interesting cherry that easily stands out alongside the Rainier and dark sweet cherries. The color tones are lovely – in these samples at least it seems a distinctly different coloration than other market cherries. The flavor really is distinct and delicious.

Featured Comments


"Wow, great new product. Nice taste, not too sweet and super texture. We kept a bowl on the kitchen counter for snacking and by day two and three, they seemed to gain a bit of sweetness, which was fine, but the best was they held their firmness. Worth another trip to the Issaquah QFC for these Rubies."

"A few minutes ago I was fortunate enough to have my first Orondo Ruby cherries. These cherries are large, firm, colorful and bursting in flavor. They rate a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. I am in cherry heaven."

"First experience with Orondo Ruby cherries and absolutely love the distinct sweet taste.  Couldn't eat just one, they are sweet but not too sweet or tart.  Will definitely buy more!"

"Fabulous cherries! I bought a box on a whim at Safeway (liked the color). My husband and I agree, they are some of the best cherries ever. The flavor is consistent from cherry to cherry too."