Cherries are available in countless varieties and species, with sour cherries and sweet cherries (bird cherries) being the best known. The name already shows that the main difference between the two varieties is their taste. Basically, there are two different subspecies of the cherry from the rose family, which in turn can be divided into several hundred different varieties. A very well-known representative of the sweet cherry is, for example, the Amarena cherry. The sour cherry contains more fruit acid and is therefore more suitable for cooking, baking and preserving. Due to its sweet aroma, the sweet cherry is mainly eaten raw;
The term sweet cherry is used to describe the various cultivated forms of wild bird cherry, such as the cartilage cherry with firm, sweet flesh or the heart cherry, which has a soft, juicy and also sweet flesh. In total, there are about 500 different sweet cherry varieties . A sweet cherry tree can grow between 15 and 30 metres high, but in industrial cultivation the trees remain much smaller to facilitate harvesting and cultivation.
Sour cherries grow on trees or bushes which, however, are only up to 10 metres high even in the wild. In total, there are 250 different varieties of sour cherries , with the morel as the best known representative.
In addition to sweet cherries and sour cherries, there are also crossings of both varieties: So-called "bastard cherries" combine characteristics of both trees. These cherries are characterized by a sweet-sour mixed aroma, but are also less in demand on the market. The variety "Queen Hortensee" represents a very special taste experience, but is one of the less lucrative bastard cherries in terms of yield.