Chukar Cherries Natural Chocolate Making Process Featured on NPR

National Public Radio takes an inside look at Pacific Northwest artisan chocolate and cherry company

Prosser, WA, August 01, 2012 --( This July, NPR’s Anna King visited Chukar Cherries to get a behind-the-scenes look at Chukar’s cherry drying and chocolate making process.

A regional version of the story, “Chukar Cherries: Making Dried Cherries While the Sun Still Shines” aired on July 25th in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and is available on NPR’s website in both audio and text form in the Arts & Life section:

The national version of the story will air on NPR’s special series “Americandy: Sweet Land of Liberty” on or around August 11th, 2012. The series gives a pan-USA tour of nostalgic candies from unique regions.

King explained Chukar’s confections this way, “Don’t mistake Chukar Cherries for those syrupy chocolate-cherry candies that people hand out for Valentine’s Day. Think chocolate raisins, but a lot richer.” Chukar’s Bing and Rainier cherries are dried without sugar and then coated in chocolate by hand in large copper kettles. This process, known as “panning,” is an old-world method and something the chocolatiers at Chukar have mastered over the course of 24 years.

July is primetime for drying fresh cherries from local orchards and over the course of a few weeks 250,000 pounds of cherries arrive at Chukar’s headquarters in Prosser to be washed, pitted, and dried without additives, sulfites, or preservatives.

Chukar Cherries began on a Yakima Valley cherry orchard in 1988. Since the early days of drying cherries on window screens, the company has steadily grown to carry a variety of cherry preserves, pie fillings, energy mixes, and their famous dried and chocolate-covered cherries.

Chukar’s dried cherries and their full line of all natural treats can be purchased year-round from Chukar’s storefronts in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, factory headquarters in Prosser, their new store in Leavenworth, WA, and online at

The Chukar Story
In 1988 our family launched Chukar Cherries on our beloved cherry orchard to showcase the natural bounty of Washington's fruit lands. To this day, our approach in the Chukar Kitchen is simple—transform tree-ripened local fruits and hearty nuts into freshly made, extraordinary cherry and chocolate gifts. One taste and you’ll know that Chukar is synonymous with the Best of Nature, Best of Chocolate®.
Chukar Cherries
Beth Cole