Marasca Cherries are sour cherries.
They are more bitter and less juicy than other sour cherries.
The Marasca tree grows up to 36 feet (8 m) tall. It is hardy down to -4 F (-20 C), and will grow true to seed. The tree blooms in May and is self-fertile, but the best yields occur when the blooms are pollinated by bees. The fruit is ready to harvest in July.
Marasca cherry trees are grown in Dalmatia, which is in Croatia, and in parts of Italy near the Croatian border. The cherries have a long association with Italy, owing to Dalmatia being at times during history Italian territory and having numbers of Italian inhabitants.
Marasca Cherries are sold in jars and tins. Tinned and jarred ones are pitted, and packed in a syrup made from marasca cherries (originally, they were packed in Maraschino cherry liqueur) with 50% of the weight of the jars and tins being fruit.
Marasca Cherry jam is also made and sold. The jam is not completely s smooth, like most cherry jam is: it actually contains whole and crushed cherries. 6 oz (170 g) of cherries are needed to make each 3 ½ oz (100 g) of the jam.
Maraschino liqueur is also made from Marasca Cherries.
Marasca Cherries are not actually native to Dalmatia; they are native to Central Asia.
While in English “Maraschino Cherries” was originally the phrase for Marasca Cherries, it has been used since the early 1900s in North America as a phrase for imitation Marasca Cherries. Maraschino Cherries are in fact most often artificially-coloured and flavoured Royal Anne cherries, making them affordable for ordinary consumers.