Compact, juicy, and colorful, cherries are nicely supplied with nutrients, notably pectin (a soluble fiber that helps control blood cholesterol levels), vitamin C, and beta-carotene, with some potassium. (Sour cherries, which are sometimes called "pie cherries," have considerably more vitamin C than sweet cherries do, though much of it is lost when the cherries are cooked.) Cherries are also high in a number of phytochemicals, including: anthocyanins (pigments responsible for the red and blue colors of fruits and vegetables), which may have anticancer properties based on their antioxidant activities that defend cells against harmful carcinogens); and quercetin, a so-called flavonoid, which is an antioxidant and may have both anticancer potential as well as anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties. It is this anti-inflammatory activity that has made cherries (specifically cherry juice) of interest to people who suffer from gout. There's even a possible dental health bonus in that studies have shown that a substance (not yet identified) in cherry juice may help prevent tooth decay. Although some people find the cherry pit an annoying feature, their only other shortcoming is their brief season, which lasts less than 3 months. But during that time, they are in abundant supply. Cherries are grown successfully in commercial quantities in only 20 countries, and the U.S. is one of the leading producers. Seventy percent of the cherries produced in the U.S. come from four states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. Filling is a food mixture used to fill pastry, sandwiches and some other types of dishes, a process referred to as stuffing.