How To Tell If Maraschino Cherries Have Gone Bad

Maraschino cherries are a delicious addition to ultimate ice cream sundaes and the most daring cocktails. Their sweet, cherry-almond flavor bursts with mouth-watering satisfaction while their long stems flaunt a deep, crimson glow. There's no overrating the enticing maraschino cherry.

Pop open the glass jar, and you'll see dozens of long-stemmed maraschino cherries swimming in a sugary corn syrup mix. Traditionally, maraschino cherries were soaked in a boozy maraschino liqueur. However, in the mid-1900s, following the passing of the 18th amendment, the FDA banned alcohol in the United States. Soon, the alcohol was omitted, and maraschino cherries bobbed around in an alcohol-free, sugary preserved bath instead (via Web MD). Today, maraschino cherries are stored in glass jars with a similar brine of salt, sugar, and red coloring.

The high-sugar content of maraschino cherries helps keep the fruit for longer, according to The Spruce Eats, but how long? How can you tell if a jar of maraschino cherries has gone bad?

Sight and smell should determine the cherry's fate

Maraschino cherries are safe to consume after the expiration date, with proper storage, according to Still Tasty; but how can you tell if they've gone bad? Take a peek at the cherries and give them a whiff. An "off" odor or appearance warns of spoiled fruit. Mold, shriveling, and damaged packaging such as rust, leaking, or bulging also raise red flags.

Eat By Date says that the best way to determine if a jar of maraschino cherries has gone bad is by the jar's lid. If it looks rounded instead of flat, this may be a sign that the jar wasn't sealed properly. Any discoloration or changes in cherry shape means you should also use caution.

As long as jars are tightly sealed in a cool, dry environment, maraschino cherries will remain edible for one to two months at room temperature (via Still Tasty). Those stored in continued refrigeration last six to twelve months. Always check the "use by" date, properly store cherries, and practice food safety. Nothing tastes sweeter than a dessert or cocktail topped with a long-stemmed maraschino cherry.