seedless cherries

Are There Seedless Cherries? – Everything You Want to Know

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Are there truly seedless cherries? It’s a question that has piqued the curiosity of cherry enthusiasts and fruit lovers alike. The allure of enjoying cherries without the inconvenience of pits is undeniably tempting.

However, the truth is that while efforts have been made to reduce seed size and develop cherries with underdeveloped seeds, completely seedless cherries do not currently exist.

In this article, we will explore the reality behind the quest for seedless cherries, shedding light on the closest alternatives and debunking common misconceptions. We’ve also included a handy guide on how to remove cherry pits using two methods.

What Are Cherries? Technically?

Cherries are delicious and vibrant fruits that have captured the hearts (and taste buds) of people around the world. These small, round fruits are botanically classified as drupes, which are fruits with a fleshy exterior surrounding a hard pit containing a single seed.

Cherries belong to the Prunus genus and are closely related to other stone fruits like peaches, plums, and apricots.

Characteristics

There are two main types of cherries: sweet cherries (Prunus avium) and sour cherries (Prunus cerasus).

Sweet cherries are the most commonly consumed variety and are known for their juicy, rich flavor. They can range in color from light yellow to deep red, depending on the variety.

Sour cherries, as the name suggests, have a tart taste and are often used in cooking and baking. They tend to be brighter red in color.

One of the distinguishing features of cherries is their smooth and shiny skin. The skin of sweet cherries is typically thick and firm, while sour cherries have thinner skin. The flesh of cherries is usually soft and succulent, with a pleasing texture. The color of the flesh can vary from pale yellow to deep red, again depending on the variety.

Health Benefits

These versatile fruits are not only a delight to the taste buds but also offer several health benefits. Cherries are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They are particularly rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which are responsible for their vibrant colors. These antioxidants have been linked to various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and even potentially lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.

Uses

Cherries can be enjoyed in numerous ways. They can be eaten fresh, either as a snack or added to salads and desserts.

Sweet cherries are commonly used in pies, tarts, and other baked goods, while sour cherries are often used in preserves, sauces, and beverages.

Cherries can also be dried or frozen for later use, allowing their unique flavor to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Cherry Varieties

Sweet and sour cherries are merely two common classifications that describe the expected flavor of the fruits.

However, cherries are cultivated in various regions worldwide, resulting in a diverse array of cherry varieties, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. Here are some of the most popular cherry varieties.

Bing Cherry

The Bing cherry is one of the most well-known and widely cultivated sweet cherry varieties.

bing cherry

It was developed in the 19th century by a horticulturist named Seth Lewelling.

Bing cherries have a deep red to nearly black skin and firm, juicy flesh. They are known for their sweet flavor with a hint of acidity, making them a popular choice for fresh consumption.

Rainier Cherry

Named after Mount Rainier in Washington state, where it was developed, the Rainier cherry is highly regarded for its striking appearance and exceptional flavor.

rainer cherry

These cherries have a golden-yellow skin with a vibrant red blush. The flesh is pale yellow and exceptionally sweet, with a delicate and slightly floral taste. Rainier cherries are often considered a premium variety.

Montmorency Cherry

Montmorency cherries are one of the most widely cultivated sour cherry varieties.

montmorency cherry

They originated in France and are now extensively grown in the United States and Canada.

These cherries have bright red skin and translucent yellow flesh. Montmorency cherries are renowned for their tart taste, which makes them perfect for pies, jams, and other culinary uses.

Lambert Cherry

The Lambert cherry is an old and esteemed sweet cherry variety. Developed in the United States, it features dark red to almost black skin and juicy, dark red flesh.

lambert cherries

Lambert cherries have a rich and sweet flavor with a slightly tangy undertone. They are excellent for fresh eating and are also used in baking and preserves.

Skeena Cherry

The Skeena cherry is a relatively new sweet cherry variety that originated in Canada. It has become increasingly popular due to its exceptional flavor and large size. 

Skeena cherries have dark red to black skin and firm, juicy flesh. They offer a sweet and complex flavor profile with a hint of acidity, making them a favorite for both fresh consumption and culinary applications.

Morello Cherry

Morello cherries are a sour cherry variety widely cultivated in Europe. They have dark red to almost black skin and vibrant red flesh.

morello cherries

Morello cherries are known for their intensely tart flavor, which makes them ideal for making cherry preserves, sauces, and liqueurs.

They are also commonly used in traditional European desserts, such as cherry clafoutis and Black Forest cake.

Are There Seedless Cherries?

Now, as you can see from some of the most common cherry varieties above, none of them have a unique characteristic like “seedless.” But what about lesser-known varietals?

After all, just because it’s now well-known doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

As of our knowledge, there is no naturally occurring seedless cherry variety available. We couldn’t even find a variety that has been cultivated to be seedless, despite the numerous articles claiming that they are.

While the term “stoneless” or “seedless” is sometimes used colloquially, it is important to note that all cherries naturally contain seeds or pits.

Efforts have been made to develop seedless or pitless cherry varieties through selective breeding and genetic modification. But as of now, no commercially available seedless cherry has been successfully developed.

Cherries have a complex reproductive process, and breeding seedless varieties while maintaining the desired flavor, texture, and appearance has proven to be a significant challenge.

However, it’s worth mentioning that there are cherry cultivars with relatively smaller pits, making them easier to eat.

These cultivars are sometimes marketed as “semi-freestone” or “freestone,” indicating that the flesh separates more easily from the pit compared to other cherry varieties. While the pits are still present, they may be less prominent and easier to remove.

It’s always a good practice to enjoy cherries by being mindful of the pits and either spitting them out or removing them before consumption.

Cherry Varieties That Are NOT Seedless

Now, upon first researching this topic, we became excited to see that so many articles claim to have found a cherry variety that is actually seedless.

After a pretty basic Google search, we quickly discovered that it was a lie. Why someone would write something so easily debunked is beyond us, but nevertheless.

So, below are a couple of common varietals people THINK are seedless (because of these types of articles) but which actually still contain seeds.

Sequoia Cherry

The “Sequoia” cherry is a notable variety known for its exceptional taste and characteristics. Developed in California, this cherry exhibits a rich flavor profile and enticing appearance. The Sequoia cherry, contrary to popular belief, does contain seeds.

These cherries typically have a large size, making them visually appealing and enticing. The skin of the Sequoia cherry is glossy and ranges in color from a vibrant red to a deep burgundy. The cherries have a rounded shape and plump, juicy flesh that is firm yet succulent.

When it comes to flavor, the Sequoia cherry is highly regarded. It offers a delightful balance between sweetness and tartness, making it enjoyable for fresh consumption. The taste is often described as rich and complex, with a subtle acidity that adds a pleasing tang.

While the Sequoia cherry contains seeds, they are typically small and can be easily removed or spit out when eating the fruit. The presence of seeds does not diminish the overall appeal and flavor of this variety, as the emphasis is placed on the delicious taste and enticing texture.

Stella Cherry

Stella cherries are a popular sweet cherry variety that is beloved for its delicious flavor and attractive appearance. This variety is known for its versatility and is widely enjoyed both fresh and in various culinary applications.

Stella cherries have dark red to almost black skin, which contrasts beautifully with their vibrant, juicy flesh. The cherries are typically medium to large in size and have a round to slightly heart-shaped form. Their glossy skin adds to their visual appeal, making them visually enticing.

When it comes to taste, Stella cherries are highly regarded for their sweet and succulent flavor. They offer a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity, creating a pleasing taste experience. The flesh is juicy and tender, providing a satisfying bite.

While Stella cherries are often referred to as seedless, it’s important to note that they may occasionally have small underdeveloped, or soft seeds that are not fully matured.

Bing Cherries

Bing cherries are perhaps one of the most well-known and widely consumed sweet cherry varieties. So why some people say they are seedless is beyond us. 

These cherries are known for their deep red to nearly black skin, which has a glossy sheen. Their plump and juicy flesh ranges from dark red to purplish, creating a striking contrast with the skin. Bing cherries are medium to large in size and have a round shape, often slightly elongated.

Are Maraschino Cherries Seedless?

Maraschino cherries, which are commonly used as a garnish in cocktails, desserts, and other food preparations, are typically made from a specific type of cherry called the Royal Ann cherry or Rainier cherry.

The process of making maraschino cherries involves pitting the cherries and then preserving them in a brine solution, followed by soaking them in a sweet syrup and maraschino liqueur.

The traditional method of making maraschino cherries involved using maraschino liqueur made from the cherries’ fruit and pits. However, modern commercial maraschino cherries are often made with an artificially flavored syrup instead of the authentic liqueur.

While the cherries are pitted during the processing of maraschino cherries, there is still a possibility of occasionally finding small fragments of the pit or stone. This is because the pitting process is not always 100% efficient, and some remnants may remain.

However, the presence of small pit fragments is typically minimal and does not detract significantly from the overall experience of consuming maraschino cherries.

It’s important to note that maraschino cherries, in their commercial form, undergo processing and are preserved in syrup, which gives them their distinctive flavor, texture, and bright red color. This processing distinguishes them from fresh cherries and may affect their taste and characteristics.

While they technically are cherries and technically don’t have a seed in them (if they are pitted), we wouldn’t call them seedless cherries. Instead, we’d classify them as a seedless cherry product.

Can You Make Seedless Cherries?

You cannot actually make (create) a seedless cherry. Scientists have been trying for decades with little to no success.

pitting cherries

What you can do is remove the pits (seeds) before serving or using the cherries. The process of doing this is simple and there are a couple of methods you can use.

Method 1: Use a Cherry Pitter

Pitting cherries using a cherry pitter is a straightforward and efficient method. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pit cherries using a cherry pitter (like this highly reviewed one).

Step 1: Wash and Dry the Cherries

Rinse the cherries under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.

Step 2: Position the Cherry

Take a cherry and hold it by the stem end. Place the cherry on the holder or prongs of the cherry pitter, ensuring that the stem is pointing upwards.

Step 3: Align the Cherry

Make sure the cherry is properly aligned with the cherry pitter. The pointed end of the metal rod or tube on the pitter should be positioned at the spot where the stem was attached to the cherry.

Step 4: Press and Pit

Firmly squeeze or press the handles of the cherry pitter together. This will drive the metal rod or tube through the cherry, pushing the pit out through the bottom. Apply enough pressure to completely remove the pit while being careful not to crush the cherry.

Step 5: Remove the Pitted Cherry

Release the handles of the cherry pitter to open the prongs or holder. Lift the pitted cherry from the pitter, leaving the pit behind.

Continue pitting the remaining cherries. Collect the pits in a bowl or discard them appropriately. Clean the cherry pitter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Method 2: Remove With a Straw

Using a straw to pit cherries is a handy method, especially when a cherry pitter is not available. It may require a bit more precision and patience compared to other methods, but it can be effective in removing the pits while keeping the cherries intact. 

Step 1: Select a Sturdy Drinking Straw

Choose a drinking straw that is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure needed to remove the pit. Ideally, a plastic straw would work better than a paper one, as it is more durable.

Step 2: Position the Cherry

Hold the cherry by the stem end to stabilize it. Place the straw at the top of the cherry, where the stem is located.

With the straw pointing downwards, carefully push it through the stem end of the cherry until it reaches the pit. Aim to insert the straw as close to the center of the cherry as possible.

Step 3: Remove the Pit

Once the straw has reached the pit, twist and maneuver it slightly to hook onto the pit. Apply gentle pressure as you pull the straw upwards. This will lift the pit out of the cherry as you remove the straw. Be patient and careful during this process to avoid damaging the fruit.

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