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How to Freeze Cherries: A Comprehensive Guide

Freezing cherries is a simple yet effective way to preserve their delicious flavor and enjoy them all year round. In this comprehensive guide, I will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to freeze cherries and preserve their taste and texture. Whether you have an abundance of fresh cherries from your own tree or want to make the most of the cherry season at your local market, this guide will help you extend the life of these delightful fruits.

Before we dive into the freezing process, it’s important to understand the benefits of freezing cherries. Not only does freezing help reduce food waste, but it also allows you to preserve the nutritional value of the fruit. Whether you plan on using the frozen cherries in recipes or simply enjoying them as a frozen treat, you’ll be able to savor the flavors of cherries even when they’re out of season.

Key Takeaways:

  • Freezing cherries preserves their flavor and nutritional value.
  • It helps reduce food waste and allows you to enjoy cherries all year round.
  • Proper preparation and pitting cherries are crucial for successful freezing.
  • Store frozen cherries in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.
  • Thaw frozen cherries slowly in the refrigerator for the best texture and flavor.

The Benefits of Freezing Cherries

Freezing cherries offers several benefits, making it an excellent preservation method for this delicious summer fruit. Whether you have a surplus of cherries from your own tree or want to take advantage of seasonal abundance, freezing cherries allows you to enjoy their taste and nutritional value throughout the year.

One of the key advantages of freezing cherries is that it helps to reduce food waste. Instead of letting your cherries go bad and end up in the trash, freezing them preserves their freshness and prevents spoilage. This not only saves money but also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

When you freeze cherries, you also retain their nutritional value. Cherries are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that offer various health benefits. Freezing cherries ensures that these nutrients are preserved, allowing you to enjoy the same nutritional benefits as fresh cherries even when they are out of season.

Furthermore, freezing cherries allows you to enjoy the taste of cherries all year round. Whether you want to make cherry pies, smoothies, or sauces, having a stash of frozen cherries on hand makes it convenient to incorporate their sweet and tangy flavor into your favorite recipes. Plus, frozen cherries can be used as a refreshing addition to drinks like cocktails or infused water.

Table: Comparing Freezing Methods for Cherries

Freezing Method Advantages Disadvantages
Whole Cherries Easier preparation Take up more space in the freezer
Pitted Cherries Convenient for recipes Can be messier to prepare
Sliced Cherries Ready-to-use for specific dishes May lose some texture during freezing

As you can see, freezing cherries offers numerous benefits, from reducing waste to preserving their taste and nutritional value. In the next section, we will discuss the necessary steps to properly prepare cherries for freezing, ensuring that they maintain their quality and flavor when thawed.

Preparing Cherries for Freezing

Before freezing cherries, it’s important to properly prepare them. Start by choosing ripe cherries from the cherry tree or buying them at a local market during the cherry season. Make sure to remove any stems and leaves from the cherries and give them a thorough wash to remove any dirt or debris.

To ensure the best quality cherries for freezing, it is recommended to pick cherries when they are fully ripe. This will ensure that the cherries have reached their peak flavor and sweetness. If you are unable to pick cherries directly from a cherry tree, look for cherries that are firm, plump, and have a deep, rich color.

Once you have your cherries, start by removing any stems and leaves. This can be done by simply pulling them off by hand or using a small paring knife. Next, give the cherries a thorough rinse under cool water to remove any dirt or debris. You can use a colander or strainer to make this process easier. After rinsing, gently pat the cherries dry with a clean towel or paper towel before proceeding.

Cherry Picking Tips
1. Choose ripe cherries: Look for cherries that are firm, plump, and have a deep, rich color.
2. Remove stems and leaves: Before freezing, make sure to remove any stems and leaves from the cherries.
3. Rinse thoroughly: Give the cherries a thorough rinse under cool water to remove any dirt or debris.
4. Pat dry: Gently pat the cherries dry with a clean towel or paper towel before proceeding.

Removing Cherry Pits

When it comes to freezing cherries, one important step is removing the pits. This not only makes the cherries more convenient to use later, but it also prevents any unexpected surprises when enjoying a frozen cherry. There are several methods you can use to pit cherries, each with its own benefits.

One popular option is using a manual cherry pitter. This handy tool allows you to quickly and efficiently remove the pits without squashing the cherries. Simply place the cherry in the pitter, squeeze the handles, and the pit will be effortlessly removed. It’s a great investment for anyone who frequently works with cherries.

If you don’t have a pitter on hand, you can also use a knife or a chopstick as alternatives. With a knife, carefully slice the cherry in half along the natural line where the stem was attached. Then, gently pry out the pit using the tip of the knife. Alternatively, you can use a chopstick by inserting it into the stem end of the cherry and pushing the pit out through the bottom.

“Removing the pits before freezing cherries ensures convenience and avoids any surprises when enjoying a frozen treat.”

No matter which method you choose, be sure to take your time and work carefully to avoid damaging the cherries. Once pitted, the cherries are ready to be frozen and can be used in a variety of delicious recipes, from cherry pies to smoothies.

Cherry Pit Removal Methods Pros Cons
Manual Cherry Pitter Efficient and quick Requires purchasing a specialized tool
Knife No additional cost Requires careful knife handling
Chopstick No additional cost Requires precision and patience

Freezing Cherries

Freezing fruit for later use is a convenient and practical way to preserve seasonal fruit, including cherries. By freezing cherries, you can enjoy their sweet flavor even when they are out of season. To freeze cherries properly, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash and pit the cherries as mentioned in the previous section.
  2. Lay the cherries out on a large baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the cherries to freeze solid for 2-3 hours.
  4. Once the cherries are frozen solid, transfer them to labeled freezer bags or containers.
  5. Remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.
  6. Properly sealed, the frozen cherries can be stored in the freezer for 6-12 months.

Now you have a stock of frozen cherries that can be used in a variety of dishes and recipes throughout the year. Whether you want to make cherry sauce, cherry muffins, cherry cocktails, or cherry juice, having frozen cherries on hand will make it easier to enjoy the delicious taste of cherries whenever you want.

Table: Cherry Freezing Process

Step Description
1 Wash and pit the cherries
2 Lay the cherries out on a baking sheet
3 Freeze cherries for 2-3 hours
4 Transfer cherries to freezer bags or containers
5 Remove air from bags or containers
6 Store frozen cherries in the freezer for 6-12 months

Follow these steps and refer to the table for a quick and easy reference to freezing cherries. With a little effort, you can enjoy the taste of fresh cherries all year long!

Storing Frozen Cherries

Once the cherries are frozen solid, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their flavor and texture. By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your frozen cherries will last for months, allowing you to enjoy their delicious taste whenever you desire.

Storing Method

After the cherries are frozen solid, transfer them to labeled freezer bags or containers. This will help you stay organized and easily find them when needed. To prevent freezer burn, it’s crucial to remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers. To do this, you can use the DIY straw vacuum trick. Simply insert a straw into the bag, seal it almost completely, and suck out the air through the straw. Once the air is removed, quickly seal the bag completely. This method helps to maintain the quality of the cherries during storage.

Freezer Shelf Life

Properly sealed, the frozen cherries can be stored in the freezer for 6-12 months. It’s important to note that the longer they are stored, the more their quality may deteriorate. It’s best to enjoy the cherries within the first 6 months for optimal taste and texture. To keep track of their freshness, label the containers with the date of freezing.

Usage in Recipes

Frozen cherries can be a versatile ingredient in various recipes. They can be used to make delicious cherry sauce, cherry muffins, cherry cocktails, and even cherry juice. Simply thaw the desired amount of cherries and incorporate them into your favorite recipes. Their natural sweetness and vibrant flavor will add a delightful twist to any dish or beverage.

Thawing Frozen Cherries

When it comes to using your frozen cherries, proper thawing techniques are essential to preserve the flavor and texture of the fruit. Below are a few methods you can use:

  1. Refrigerator thawing: The safest and most recommended method is to thaw the cherries in the refrigerator. Simply transfer the sealed bag or container of frozen cherries to the fridge and let them thaw for 6-8 hours or overnight. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the integrity of the cherries.
  2. Cold water thawing: If you’re short on time, you can thaw the cherries quickly by placing the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water. Let the cherries sit in the water for 15-20 minutes, gently agitating them occasionally. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed to prevent any water from seeping in.

Regardless of the method you choose, avoid using hot water or the microwave to thaw the cherries, as this can result in loss of flavor and a mushy texture. Slow and gentle thawing is the key to preserving the quality of your frozen cherries.

Keep in mind:

Thawed cherries may have a slightly softer texture compared to fresh ones. They are best used in recipes where their texture won’t be a significant factor, such as in baked goods or sauces. If you prefer to enjoy the cherries as a frozen treat, eat them directly from the freezer.

Now that you know the proper thawing techniques, you can confidently use your frozen cherries in various recipes or enjoy them as a refreshing snack straight from the freezer. Cherries are a versatile fruit that can add a burst of flavor to both sweet and savory dishes, so don’t hesitate to get creative in the kitchen!

Using Frozen Cherries

Frozen cherries are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes and desserts. Their vibrant color and sweet-tart flavor make them a perfect addition to many recipes. Here are some delicious ways to use frozen cherries:

Cherry Pie Filling

One classic use for frozen cherries is as a filling for cherry pies. Simply thaw the cherries and combine them with sugar, cornstarch, and a splash of lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust and bake until golden and bubbling. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a truly decadent treat.

Cherry Smoothies

Frozen cherries add a burst of flavor to smoothies. Blend them with your favorite fruits like bananas, strawberries, and yogurt for a refreshing and nutritious drink. You can also add a handful of spinach or kale for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals.

Cherry Ice Cream

Make your own homemade cherry ice cream by blending frozen cherries with heavy cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until thick and creamy. The result is a creamy and fruity ice cream that is sure to delight your taste buds.

Cherry Compote

Create a delicious cherry compote by simmering frozen cherries with sugar, lemon juice, and a touch of cinnamon until thick and syrupy. This compote can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or yogurt. It can also be drizzled over cheesecake or pound cake for an elegant dessert.

Dish Ingredients Method
Cherry Pie Filling Frozen cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice Thaw cherries, combine with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Pour into pie crust and bake.
Cherry Smoothies Frozen cherries, bananas, strawberries, yogurt Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Cherry Ice Cream Frozen cherries, heavy cream, sugar, salt Blend ingredients, churn in ice cream maker until thick and creamy.
Cherry Compote Frozen cherries, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon Simmer ingredients until thick and syrupy.

Cherry Varieties and Seasonality

Cherries come in a variety of types, each with its own distinct flavor profile and uses. Some popular cherry varieties include Bing cherries, Rainier cherries, and sour cherries. Each variety has its own unique characteristics, making them perfect for different culinary applications. Here are some insights into these cherry varieties and tips for cherry picking:

Bing Cherries

Bing cherries are one of the most popular cherry varieties, known for their deep red color and sweet flavor. They are often enjoyed fresh and are perfect for snacking or adding to salads and desserts.

Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries are prized for their beautiful yellow color with a pink blush. These cherries have a unique, delicate flavor that is both sweet and slightly tart. They are often used in recipes that call for fresh cherries and are a delightful addition to fruit salads and baked goods.

Sour Cherries

Sour cherries, also known as tart cherries, have a bright, tangy flavor that adds a burst of acidity to dishes. They are commonly used in pies, jams, and other preserved recipes. While they can be enjoyed fresh, their tartness makes them ideal for cooking and baking.

To ensure you get the best flavor, it’s important to pick cherries at the peak of their season. The exact timing may vary depending on your region and climate, but the peak cherry season is typically in July. During this time, cherries are at their juiciest and most flavorful. Look for cherries that are firm, plump, and have a glossy skin. Avoid cherries that are soft or bruised.

Picking cherries can be a fun and rewarding experience. When cherry picking, gently twist the stem of the cherry until it releases from the tree. Be careful not to pull too hard, as this can damage the cherry and leave the stem behind. If the stem doesn’t come off easily, it means the cherry is not yet ripe and should be left on the tree to mature.

By understanding the different cherry varieties and knowing when to pick them, you can enjoy the freshest and most flavorful cherries all season long. Whether you’re using them in recipes or enjoying them straight from the tree, cherries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be preserved and enjoyed in various ways.

cherry varieties

Preserving Summer Fruit

When it comes to preserving the flavors of summer fruits, freezing is a highly effective technique. Not only does freezing fruits and vegetables help to retain their taste and texture, but it also allows you to enjoy the seasonal flavors all year round. Freezing is a simple and convenient method that requires minimal effort and equipment. By following proper fruit preservation techniques, you can ensure that your favorite summer fruits, like cherries, remain delicious and ready to use whenever you desire.

Preserving seasonal fruit, such as cherries, through freezing is a great way to extend their shelf life and enjoy their natural sweetness throughout the year. Freezing fruits and vegetables allows you to lock in the nutrients and flavors while preventing spoilage. It’s a practical solution for those who want to minimize food waste and make the most of fresh produce during its peak season. By freezing cherries and other fruits, you can always have a taste of summer on hand, whether it’s for smoothies, desserts, or baking.

“Freezing fruits and vegetables is a simple and accessible method that anyone can do at home. By taking advantage of the seasonal abundance and preserving these fruits through freezing, you can savor their flavors long after the harvest is over.”

When preserving seasonal fruit like cherries, it’s important to remember a few key tips. First, ensure that the fruit is thoroughly washed and pitted before freezing. This helps to remove any dirt or debris and ensures a clean end product. Additionally, it’s important to package the fruit properly in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Labeling the containers with the date of freezing can also help you keep track of their freshness. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the taste of summer fruits year-round.

Benefits of Freezing Fruits and Vegetables Fruit Preservation Techniques
1. Retains taste and texture of fresh fruit 1. Washing and pitting fruit
2. Extends shelf life of seasonal fruit 2. Proper packaging in airtight containers
3. Reduces food waste 3. Labeling containers with date of freezing
4. Allows enjoyment of summer flavors year-round 4. Freezing individual fruits or making fruit puree

Preserving summer fruit through freezing is a practical and delicious way to ensure that you can enjoy the flavors of the season long after they have passed. Whether you’re freezing cherries, berries, or peaches, the process is simple and accessible to everyone. By following proper fruit preservation techniques and packaging the fruit correctly, you can savor the taste of summer fruits in a variety of dishes and recipes. So why not take advantage of the abundance of seasonal fruit and preserve their flavors for year-round enjoyment?

Tips for Successful Cherry Freezing

When it comes to successfully freezing cherries, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. By following these freezing techniques, you can ensure that your cherries stay fresh and delicious for months to come.

Choose the Right Cherries

Start by selecting ripe, high-quality cherries for freezing. Look for cherries that are firm, plump, and free from any bruises or blemishes. The variety of cherries you choose will also affect the taste and texture of the frozen fruit, so consider your preferences when making a selection.

Wash and Dry Thoroughly

Before freezing your cherries, it’s important to wash them to remove any dirt or residue. Gently rinse the cherries under cool water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Ensuring that the cherries are completely dry will help prevent the formation of ice crystals during freezing.

Use Proper Storage Containers

When it comes to storing frozen cherries, using the right containers is essential. Opt for airtight freezer bags or freezer-safe containers to prevent freezer burn and maintain the quality of the cherries. Label the containers with the date of freezing to keep track of their freshness and use them within 6-12 months for the best results.

Enjoying Frozen Cherries

Once your cherries are frozen, you can enjoy them in a variety of ways. Use them in smoothies, pies, desserts, or enjoy them on their own as a refreshing snack. Frozen cherries retain their flavor and nutritional value, allowing you to savor the taste of summer cherries throughout the year.

Cherry Recipes and Desserts

Frozen cherries can be used to create a wide range of delicious desserts. The sweet and tart flavor of cherries adds a delightful twist to baked goods, making them the perfect addition to cherry pies, cherry bread, and muffins. Get creative with your cherry recipes and explore the many possibilities.

Cherry Pies

Cherry pies are a classic dessert that showcases the natural sweetness of cherries. Whether you prefer a traditional double-crust pie or a lattice-topped one, the combination of flaky pastry and juicy cherries is a winner. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.

Cherry Bread

Cherry bread is a delightful treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack. The combination of the moist bread and bursts of sweet cherries is simply irresistible. You can add nuts or a hint of almond extract to enhance the flavor even more. Slice it up and spread some butter for a delicious morning treat.

Cherry Dessert Tarts

If you’re looking for a bite-sized dessert, cherry dessert tarts are a perfect choice. These individual-sized treats are made with flaky pastry shells filled with a sweet and tangy cherry filling. They are ideal for parties or gatherings, and the vibrant color of the cherries will surely impress your guests.

cherry desserts

Get creative with your cherry recipes and let the natural flavors of cherries shine through. From pies to bread and tarts, there are endless possibilities to satisfy your sweet tooth with these delectable cherry desserts.

Homemade Cherry Preserves and Jam

Preserving cherries is a wonderful way to enjoy their sweet flavor long after the season has ended. One delicious way to preserve cherries is by making homemade cherry preserves and jam. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create jars of fruity goodness that can be spread on toast, used as a filling for pastries, or enjoyed in a variety of other ways.

To make homemade cherry preserves, start by combining fresh or frozen cherries with sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the cherries have softened and the mixture has thickened. Once the preserves have reached the desired consistency, transfer them to sterilized jars and seal them tightly. These homemade cherry preserves can be stored at room temperature for several months and make a delightful addition to your breakfast or afternoon tea.

If you prefer a spreadable consistency, you can make cherry jam by pureeing the cherries before cooking them with sugar and lemon juice. The pureed cherries give the jam a smooth texture while still maintaining the vibrant flavor of the fruit. Like cherry preserves, cherry jam can be stored in sterilized jars at room temperature for several months. Spread it on toast, use it as a filling for thumbprint cookies, or swirl it into plain yogurt for a burst of cherry goodness.

Cherry Preserves vs. Cherry Jam

Cherry Preserves Cherry Jam
Chunks of cherries preserved in a thick syrup Smooth pureed cherries cooked with sugar
More texture and visible pieces of fruit Smooth and spreadable consistency
Can be used as a topping or filling Spreadable on toast or pastries
Longer cooking time Shorter cooking time

“Making homemade cherry preserves and jam is a delightful way to savor the flavors of cherries all year round. Whether you prefer the texture of chunky cherry preserves or the smoothness of cherry jam, both options offer a burst of fruity goodness. Experiment with different recipes and enjoy the taste of summer cherries even in the depths of winter.”

So, if you have an abundance of cherries or simply want to capture the essence of this delicious fruit, try your hand at making homemade cherry preserves and jam. It’s a rewarding and flavorful way to preserve cherries and enjoy their taste long after the season has passed.

Enjoying Cherries Throughout the Year

When it comes to food preservation, freezing is a fantastic method to ensure that the flavors and nutritional value of your favorite fruits are preserved. This is especially true for cherries, as freezing them allows you to enjoy their delicious taste all year round. Whether you’re using frozen cherries in recipes or enjoying them as a frozen treat, they provide a burst of sweetness even during the coldest months. With proper freezing techniques and storage, you can savor the flavors of cherries whenever you want.

Freezing cherries is a simple and effective way to enjoy the taste of summer cherries even when they’re out of season. By freezing them at the peak of their freshness, you can lock in their natural sweetness and preserve their texture. Whether you have an abundance of cherries from your own cherry tree or you’ve purchased them at a local market, freezing is an excellent way to make them last.

To freeze cherries, start by selecting ripe and juicy cherries. Remove any stems and leaves, and give them a gentle wash to remove any dirt or debris. If you prefer pitting the cherries before freezing, there are various methods you can use, such as a manual cherry pitter or a knife. Once the cherries are prepped, lay them out on a baking sheet in a single layer and place them in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen solid. Afterward, transfer the frozen cherries to labeled freezer bags or containers, ensuring they’re properly sealed to prevent freezer burn. Storing them in the freezer allows you to enjoy the taste of cherries throughout the year.

When you’re ready to use the frozen cherries, there are a few different thawing techniques you can employ. The safest method is to thaw them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, as this helps preserve their texture and flavor. Alternatively, if you need them to thaw quickly, you can place the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water for a short period of time. Once thawed, the cherries can be used in a wide variety of dishes and recipes like cherry pies, cherry smoothies, cherry ice cream, or cherry compote. Let your culinary creativity run wild with the possibilities!

Table: Cherry Freezing Guidelines

Step Description
1 Select ripe and juicy cherries.
2 Remove stems and leaves, and wash cherries gently.
3 Pit cherries, if desired.
4 Lay cherries on a baking sheet in a single layer.
5 Freeze cherries solid for a few hours.
6 Transfer frozen cherries to labeled freezer bags or containers.
7 Store in the freezer for up to 6-12 months.
8 Thaw cherries in the refrigerator or in cold water before use.
9 Enjoy in a variety of recipes!

Conclusion

Preserving fruit is a wonderful way to enjoy the flavors of summer all year long, and freezing cherries is a simple and effective method. By following the step-by-step instructions and helpful tips provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently freeze cherries and preserve their delicious taste and nutritional value.

With proper fruit storage techniques, your frozen cherries can last for 6-12 months in the freezer. Whether you use them in recipes or enjoy them as a frozen treat, the burst of sweetness that cherries provide will brighten up any dish, even during the coldest months.

So start preserving cherries today and savor the sweetness of summer all year round. Freezing cherries is a convenient way to keep the flavors of this beloved fruit at your fingertips any time you want. Whether you’re making cherry pies, cherry bread, or simply enjoying them as a refreshing snack, frozen cherries are a pantry staple you’ll be thankful to have on hand.

FAQ

Can I freeze cherries to preserve their sweetness?

Yes, freezing cherries is a great way to preserve their sweet flavor and enjoy them all year round.

How long can I store frozen cherries?

Frozen cherries can be stored in the freezer for 6-12 months when properly sealed in airtight containers or freezer bags.

What are some recipes I can make with frozen cherries?

Frozen cherries can be used in a variety of recipes, including cherry sauce, cherry muffins, cherry cocktails, and cherry juice.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen cherries?

The safest method is to thaw the cherries in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can place the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes for a quicker thaw.

Are there different varieties of cherries?

Yes, cherries come in various varieties such as Bing cherries, Rainier cherries, and sour cherries, each with its own unique characteristics.

Can I use the same freezing techniques for other fruits?

Absolutely! If you have an abundance of other fruits like berries or peaches, you can also freeze them using similar techniques.

What are some tips for successful cherry freezing?

Make sure the cherries are dry before freezing, use airtight containers or freezer bags to protect against freezer burn, label the containers with the date of freezing, and enjoy the delicious frozen cherries in various recipes!

What are some delicious cherry recipes I can try?

You can make cherry pies, tarts, bread, cobbler, crisp, salsa, preserves, and jam using frozen cherries. The possibilities are endless!

Can I enjoy the taste of cherries all year round?

Yes, by freezing cherries you can enjoy their delicious taste even during the colder months and savor the flavors of summer whenever you want.

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April

Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!

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