19 May 2011

Cherries from Aïn Draham

Local cherries are now coming into season.  The cherries in the above photograph are from the Aïn Draham region of Tunisia.  The price of the cherries are expensive at 16 TND (Tunisian dinars) a kilo which is the equivalent of about 8 Euros or 11.5 USD.  There are several reasons and explanations as to why the price of cherries are expensive.  Firstly, as a fruit, cherries have very specific chilling requirements and therefore do best in regions of the world which have cold winters.  Cherries need between 800 - 1200 hours of cold.  This means that to initiate bud burst, the cherry tree needs the above numbers of hours below 10°C (which is 50 degrees Fahrenheit).  Secondly, and this is related to my previous point, because of this specific climatic requirement, not many cherries are grown in Tunisia.  Thirdly, this all then has a cumulative effect on the price of cherries that are grown.  Supply versus demand is a basic tenet of economics which determines the price of goods in a market.  Therefore, because there is only a limited supply of cherries, this inturn means that their price remains high.

 "Aïn Draham (عين دراهم‎) is a city in northwestern Tunisia in the Jendouba Governorate situated 25 kilometers south of Tabarka. Historically a military outpost, summer resort and souq, today it is a regional economic hub.  It is located at an altitude of 800 meters on the slopes of the Djebel Bir (1014 m), one of the Kroumirie mountains. The city is located in one of the most humid areas of Tunisia and holds the record for the highest average rainfall at 1534 mm per year.  Its name describes the sulfurous hot springs in the area used by the Romans in antiquity. Ruins of Roman baths are also found in the area."
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