Grown across Serras da Gardunha, Estrela and Malcata, the Cova da Beira cherry is one of the symbols of the Central region and is one of the foundations of its economy. Succulent and sweet, it is characterised by intense colours ranging from bright red to a darker purple-red and has a long green stalk. It can be eaten just as it is, fresh, in fruit salads or sweetened into jams and even chocolates.
The planting of cherry trees goes back to the late nineteenth century. However it was from 1950 that it really began its economic development, and today there are even those who call it “red gold”.
Altitude, sunshine hours and climate are key factors in the consistency of the "De Saco", "B.Burlat" and "Hedelfingen" varieties. Of these, the most typical cherry is the “De Saco”, the name of which comes from its firmness and resistance to the stresses of transport. The cherry trees bloom in April and May, and people say that their flower marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The production of the Cova da Beira cherry covers a geographic area of approximately 1374km2, which includes the counties of Fundão, Covilhã and Belmonte. In Fundão, the cherry is queen of the Cherry Festival which takes place every year in June.
“Conversations are like cherries” – This is a popular Portuguese expression that represents the idea that ‘after one comes the next’. Meaning that after eating one cherry it’s impossible to resist eating the next.