The cherry is the fruit (drupe) of the Prunus Avium, a tree in the Rosaceae family.
The varieties we usually consume are the results of hybridisation between Prunus Cerasus (the amarena or sour cherry, used particularly in cooking) and the Prunus Avium.
Cherries commonly fall into two categories: firm and soft. Their colours range from whitish to deep purple, via bright red.
Cherries have been consumed since antiquity both as fruit and in the preparation of sweets and preserves, and since the Renaissance also in alcohol (particularly maraschino cherries).
There is even a patron saint of cherries: San Gerardo Tintore, who is also the patron of Monza and is celebrated on 6 June.
The dialect name “cerasa” (like the Portuguese, Spanish and French names) comes from the city of Cerasunte (today Giresun, currently in Turkey), from where the first cherry trees were imported to Rome in the 1st century BC.