Hospitality Highlight: Canadian Cherries

It was the first time I had ever eaten a yellow cherry. The taste wasn’t much different from other cherries I’ve had, but the juice wasn’t red like blood. I chewed the flesh around the pit, feeling the bursts of juice coat my tongue. When all the flesh was gone, I threw the pit out the window into the Canadian forest.

The cherries came from a Russian woman.

We met her after sailing across the emerald waters of Lake Erie. My sweet mother and I were on a ferry, coming back from an island that boasts being the most southern tip of Canada.

When we got off the boat, the Russian woman asked us how choppy the waters were. I thought of how dramatically the boat bobbed back and forth. As it bobbed, I stood by the rail and reached my hand down towards the water, trying to touch the emerald sparkles below. “It’s pretty rough,” I said. She had a quick flash of concern on her face, so I reached into my bag and pulled out ginger candies. “Here, these will help settle your stomach if you get seasick,” I said as I handed them to her.

She expressed her thanks with small gesticulations and a mile-wide smile. Then she gave us a gift in return: a blue solo cup full of rouge cherries with a few sun-yellow cherries mixed in. The yellow cherries stuck out like gems.

We couldn’t take them across the border, so we ate them as we drove through the marshlands and forests to the tip of the mainland peninsula.

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