The valley of the Jerte River is the middle of everything that has to do with cherries in Extremadura. This is a region in Spain, which is west of Madrid and borders with neighbor country Portugal. This is a region where even Jules Verne would have travelled to taste the first fruit of the summer. The “Cerecera” is a program related to the cherry harvest and that offers visitors, from May to July, events based on gastronomy, also, cultural and festive activities that are as interesting and varied as those designed in early Spring for the Cherry blossoms season. During the cherry harvest the Valley of Jerte turns into a color so intense of “red passion”, which is worth watching.
The Cerecera is the mecca for cherries in Extremadura
Cherries from the Jerte Valley travel to all corners of the world reaching a widespread range of international markets, in addition to being the choice of the Spanish consumer. And the “Cerecera” is the opportunity to discover the place where they are grown in a manner so natural that their flavor is unique and has a high content of vitamins. The visitor can enjoy the experience of harvesting their own cherries and taste them right there at the countryside or as delicious proposals at the local restaurants. As a complement to the cherry harvest activities, tourist can enjoy numerous programs related to active tourist at the most amazing places.
The fair of the cherry
On the big day of the “Cerecera” there is always a huge market of cherries, which rotates form village to village in the Valley of Jerte. This occurs in the midst of a festive atmosphere with special activities for children, hiking expeditions and guided tours. This is a great moment to try the famous cherry gazpacho, which is a gastronomic surprise.
The picota cherry gastronomic conference
Restaurants in the region offer tasting menus with one common ingredient the “Picota Cherry”, which is a variety with “Denomination of Origin” that only grows in this corner of the world. This cherry variety also know as the “bigerrau cherry” is larger, with more pulp than regular cherries, it also has a slightly elongated shape and has no stem, when harvested. The best chefs of the region have launched their own creations based on this star product, unique to the Valley of Jerte.
Agro tourism an cherry tasting
During the Cherry Harvest visitors can immerse into the local atmosphere and first hand feel the traditions of the agricultural process. They will experience oneness with nature through the direct contact with the outdoors.
The agro tourism, which is now so fashionable allows you to go into the countryside and visit working agricultural cooperatives of the Valley of Jerte and learn the secrets of these famous cherries. You will have the opportunity to taste a number of varieties and purchase boxes at a fraction of the price available at the city markets. And these cherries taste even better if they have been picked with your own hands.
Original article by Merche R. Rey
Translated by Susan Windt
Photo by Andy Solé
Published in May, 2017