The Escapes section of Friday's New York Times tempts readers with an article about Oregon cherries. Pableaux Johnson traveled with his wife and another couple along what's called the Hood River Fruit Loop — in the northwest part of the state. They collected sticky brown paper bags of summer-tasting fruit: Dark Bing cherries, Royal Annes, Lamberts, and the Ranier. "The Ranier bruises so easily that it rarely makes it out of the Pacific Northwest," Johnson writes.
Grower Dollie Rasmussen says: "Cherries seem to make people happy. They can't be picked green and stored like apples or peaches, so people have to buy them fresh."
This is the kind of story that I think really works best in print. See the pictures, save the article, maybe you'll get there someday. Or, (and this is quite an expensive "or") check out the Web sites and order by airmail. It totally defeats the conviction to buy food as locally as possible, but if you're up for a splurge, Rasmussen Farms will send you 5 pounds of mixed varieties right to your door for $48. I recall that small producers have sometimes been overwhelmed after a NYT article, so I talked with Muriel Kiss at the farm. "Nope, yours is the first call," she said. "Want some cherries?"