A modern pear cultivar selected for flavor and fireblight resistance.
Balaton® Cherry on Mahaleb (Spring 2023)
A late-blooming, crack-resistant tart cherry with red flesh. Also known as Balaton Ujfeherto Furtos.
Balaton® grows on a vigorous, large tree (needing one-two feet more space than Montmorency) and produces sweet-tart Morello (dark skinned and dark fleshed) cherry that has a high sugar and low acid content. The fruit is very firm and crack resistant, and there is no bleeding when the stem is pulled off. Although Balaton® is partially self-fertile, research suggests that the yield of sweet-tart cherries is improved by the presence of a sweet cherry; we recommend Black Gold™. The winter-hardiness of Balaton® is slightly less than that of other tart cherries and fruit ripens about a week after Montmorency. Balaton is susceptible to brown rot and leaf spot.
In an interview by Dan Charles of NPR, Amy Iezonni from Michigan State University describes the history of the Balaton® cherry. She recounts how Hungarian farmers in communist collectives first selected the trees of the common plantings in the village of Újfehértó as the country's best tart cherry, and how cuttings from these trees were eventually planted all over Hungary. That a single cherry became so popular in a country as passionate about tart cherries as is Hungary is quite an achievement. Iezonni herself went to Hungary in the early 1980s in search of pollen and cuttings she could use for breeding a late-blooming (and therefore frost-resistant) tart cherry. She decided to see if the American market would welcome a tart cherry that is quite different from our traditional Montmorency, and since then Balaton® has made a place for itself in home gardens and commercial markets in America. It is named after Lake Balaton, which is near the village Újfehértó but much easier to pronounce.
Amy Iezonni has a couple of favorite Balaton® recipes: Cherry Cream Cheese Cake and Old Fashioned Cold Cherry Soup.
Photos by Amy Iezzoni.
Fruit Uses & Storage
Uses: fresh eating, jam, baking, canning, freezing, jelly
Storage duration: less than one month (approximate, depending on storage conditions)
Skin color: red
Flesh color: red
Origin: Újfehértó, Hungary
Introduced in: 1980s
Calendar & Geography
Tree Height & Spacing
Diseases & Pests
Is it self-fertile? Partial
Is it fertile?
Rootstock size class: Half-Standard (60% of Standard)
Sweet cherries are not part of our search tool given various complexities. Please see our Pollenizer Search to run other queries and read how the application uses various factors. Also read more about fruit tree pollination.
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