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Welcome to the Michigan Balaton cherry website from King Orchards near Traverse City, Michigan, in the heart of the world's largest tart cherry growing region.

We are excited to offer the Balaton cherry, a new tart cherry variety ripening just after Montmorency, the familiar pie cherry. Balaton is sweet and firm, so it can be enjoyed fresh.

January 24, 2014
Frozen Balaton Tart Cherries Available Now!

Call us toll-free at 1-877-937-5464 to place an order.

Tart cherry season is just beginning here in Northern Michigan. We are harvesting a beautiful crop of Balaton cherries. We have them available for purchase in our two markets. We can also ship fresh Balaton cherries. They are a little firmer than Montmorency tart cherries, which are too perishable to ship fresh.

IQF Balaton Cherries Available for Shipping November through March
King Orchards now has IQF Balaton Cherries
Individually quick frozen Balatons are the next best thing to fresh.

The Balaton Cherry Balaton cherries

This variety was selected by growers in Hungary, near the Soviet border. The Balaton was introduced here in the U.S. by Dr. Amy Iezzoni of Michigan State University, who found it in Hungary when she was searching for new genetic resources for her tart cherry breeding program. 

Balaton is larger and firmer than Montmorency. It is excellent for processing with its red skin, flesh, and juice. The Balaton cherry ripens after the Montmorency and blooms a few days later. The tree is vigorous may need to be trained similar to a sweet cherry.  In U. S. trials, the Balaton cherries have proven to be significantly sweeter, larger and more firm that the ever popular Montmorency cherry. The Balaton has an average weight of 5.8 grams and a diameter of 22 mm. Its juice is redder than others making it great for juices and preserves.

The Balaton cherry "is a superior cherry for juice - the primary use of tart cherries" says the Cherry Marketing Institute of Michigan. Its red pigment is so deep, it won't require red coloring for pie fillings, and its increased sweetness (over the more traditional Montmorency variety) requires fewer pounds to make a gallon of concentrate juice. The Balaton's  vibrant color makes it especially appealing.

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