What Is the Difference Between Sweet Cherries & Sour Cherries?

Cherries are some of the most popular fruits around. They seem to find their way into just about anything from salads to desserts. There are two main kinds of cherries: sweet cherries and sour cherries.

Cherries are high in vitamin C and fiber.


Because of their luscious taste, sweet cherries are grown to be eaten fresh from the tree, but it is the sour, or tart, cherries that are ordinarily used for baking in desserts like cherry pie or cherry cobbler. If sweet cherries are used in baking, less sugar is added to the recipe.


The sweet cherries are relatively larger than the sour cherries. A sour cherry can be identified by being bright red to yellow. The sweet cherries are more dark red to black. The darker the cherry, the sweeter the taste.


Sour cherry trees are self-fertile, so they do not need a companion tree. Sweet cherry trees, on the other hand, do need a compatible pollinator tree to produce fruit.