There are bright red cherries, sometimes found in pie filings or cakes, nothing resembling a real cherry.
In the 1940’s, a synthetic cherry was created, compromised of alginate solution, artificially flavored and colored with a red dye. Drops of the solutions are allowed to fall into a bath of calcium salt. A “skin”of insoluble calcium alginate clings to each drop. The drops are allowed to cure and eventually, as calcium ions penetrate the center, they gel into sweet, unwholesome “cherries.”
Knowing this, you may now be tempted to shove aside that cherry that comes on your ice cream sundae with disdain, but your fears are needless- this is a maraschino cherry, a real cherry that has simply been dyed that crazy red tone.
From: How Do They Do That? by: Caroline Sutton