The cultivated forms are of the species sweet cherry, to which most cherry cultivars belong, and the sour cherry, which is used mainly for cooking. Both species originate in Europe and western Asia; they do not cross-pollinate. Some other species, although having edible fruit, are not grown extensively for consumption, except in northern regions where the two main species will not grow. It is closely related to the sweet cherry , but has a fruit that is more acidic, and has greater nutritional benefits.The tree is smaller than the sweet cherry.
The gypsy sour cherry also extremely popular with Persians and the Romans who introduced them into Britain long before the 1st century AD. The fruit remains popular in modern-day Iran. Before the Second World War there were more than fifty cultivars of sour cherry in cultivation in England; today, however, few are grown commercially.
Medicinally, sour cherries may be useful in alleviating sleep problems due to it is high melatonin content, a compound critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans.
Dried sour cherries are used in cooking including soups, pork dishes, cakes, tarts, and pies.Sour cherries or sour cherry syrup are used in liquors and drinks. In Turkey, Greece , sour cherries are especially prized for making spoon sweets by slowly boiling pitted sour cherries and sugar, a beverage made by diluting the syrup with ice-cold water. A particular use of sour cherries is in the production of “Kriek lambic”, a cherry-flavoured variety of a naturally fermented beer made in Belgium. In 2012 Hungary had sour cherry production 53,425 tonnes. In Hungary, made from sour cherry palinka which is high quality, delicious, traditional “medicine” to help having a good sleep.