If you are a lover of fruits, you probably like to eat them seedless such as seedless grapes and plums. Do you also love cherries? They are great summer fruits. But seedless cherries – do they exist?
Cherries have tiny seeds. They have hardened pits, which are called kernels, that cover their seeds. That means cherries naturally come with seeds. The pit is the stony and hard tissue that covers the cherry seeds. Scientists have tried to develop seedless cherries, but they could not develop pitless cherries.
Cherries are a favorite summertime fruit for many people. They belong to the Prunus genus specie of fruits regarded as stone or drupe fruits. You usually spit out the pits in eating cherries, although you might accidentally swallow some of them.
Read on to learn more about cherries, what kind of fruit they are, and if there is such a thing as seedless cherries.
Seedless Cherries – Do They Exist?
Cherries Always Have Small Seeds
In nature, cherries always have small seeds. These seeds are covered with hardened pits, which are commonly called kernels. These pits are made up of hard stony tissues. Scientists have tried to develop seedless cherries. But they were not successful in developing pitless cherries.
Usually Grow During Summer
Cherries usually grow during summer; they’re a favorite summertime fruit for many people. They belong to the Prunus fruit family, whose seed is covered by a stony pit or endocarp.
In eating cherries, you are not meant to swallow the pits. But of course, you might swallow some of the kernels just by accident.
Seedless Cherries Exist
When you see any seedless fruits, it is a sign that their basic biology has been manipulated by agricultural scientists at the behest of the industry. In seedless forms, fruits will naturally lose some of their nutritional values.
Do Pitless Cherries Exist?
In their natural state, cherries always come with seeds, tiny seeds. You may ask about Bing cherries since they are among the most popular cherries. Bing cherry trees are manipulated trees.
They do not grow on seeds but are grafted onto rocks or other anchoring materials. The sweet cherries that you bought in the market are grown this way.
More on Cherries
Belong to the Stone Fruit Family
Cherries belong to the stone fruit family, and currently, there is no way to grow seedless cherries. So far, agricultural scientists have not been able to develop fully stoneless or pitless fruits. They have been working on this since 1914.
Luther Burbank Influenced Future Horticulturists and Scientists to Develop Seedless Cherries
Luther Burbank, a plant breeder, nearly succeeded in developing seedless plum. He was only partially successful. But he influenced future horticulturists and scientists who were eager to find a way of creating whole seedless, and stoneless cherries, peaches, and plums.
They have difficulties producing seedless varieties from naturally grown cherries, plums, and peaches without adversely affecting the size and quality of the fruits. Quality and size are two of the most critical factors that fruit should have if it will succeed in the market on a large scale.
Good-sized and High-quality Seedless Cherries Can Improve Growers’ Profit
If scientists can only produce good-sized and high-quality seedless cherries, growers will enjoy higher profits in their operations. They would like the same thing with cherries when seedless watermelon and grapes were developed.
When these two seedless fruit types were introduced to the market, they were instantly consumed avidly by fruit lovers.
No Stone Fruit Is Naturally Grown Without a Stone, a Seed, or a Pit
Why are there no seedless cherries? Cherries belong to the family of stone fruits. This means they grow with a seed, stone, or pit inside. Also belonging to the stone fruit family are olives, peaches, and plums. No stone fruit is naturally grown without a stone, a seed, or a pit.
The seeds inside cherries develop right at the start. There is even no human-manipulated stone fruit at the moment. And yet, you will find these so-called maraschino cherries that have seeds or stones in the market. How can this be explained?
How Come Maraschino Cherries Have No Pits?
The simple explanation of why maraschino cherries are seedless is that these trees are not naturally grown. They are made. Every type of stone fruit, including seedless cherries, does not have a separate seedless variety. What is done to seedless maraschino cherries is to pit the seeds using a knife.
So, the maraschino seedless cherries that you buy are regular cherries that human hands have transformed. Their manufacturers bleach them, preserve them, and sweeten them with sugar or syrup. They are usually sold in bottles.
So maraschino cherries are real cherries, but they have been processed in the factory to get their seeds out. It is not unusual for cherries that are being processed to lose their seeds. But right at the start of their processing, cherries still have their seeds inside them.
Can You Get Seedless Cherries
Yes, it is possible to buy seedless cherries. However, keep in mind that they did not grow naturally without seeds. Their seeds were removed while they were being processed at the factory. So, technically, the seedless cherries you are buying are processed foods.
If you buy naturally grown cherries, even if they are sweetened, you will always be biting hard on their hard pits or seeds. Some people are not entirely happy with this. So, they will gladly buy those ‘seedless cherries’ instead.
But these seedless cherries are not in any way produced by nature. They have undergone a manufacturing process to make them more palatable to the taste of consumers who love to eat seedless fruits.
Again, do seedless cherries exist? Experts successfully developed seedless cherries, but not pitless ones. A pit refers to the hard and stony tissue usually found in cherries, olives, plums, apricots, etc.
Can You Get Cherries Without Stones?
It could not be denied that there are seedless fruits from trees grown on soil. The majority of them, however, are the result of chance mutation. One or more genes of the fruit were altered, which then resulted in a sterile, but remarkably tasting fruit.
Farmers take advantage of these mutations by propagating these fruits. They graft them onto each other as many times as they want, like the blood orange. This fruit variety originally came from an ancient plant that had long ago mutated its genes.
In the case of cherries, horticulturists and other scientists have not been able to discover a method by which they can grow seedless cherries from the soil. They have tried it in the past, but their efforts were still not rewarded with their desired results.
But they are still trying. Some scientists believe that through polyploidy, they will be able to develop cherries without stones in the future. Polyploidy is the inheritable condition enabling plants to possess more than two complete sets of chromosomes.
Until that day comes, you have to satisfy yourself with maraschino cherries if you want to eat cherries with no stones.
How to Get the Seeds Out of Your Cherries
Maraschino cherries do not hold on hard to their seeds. It is the same for most cherries. Some people who have grown cherries on their farm or yard sometimes notice that the core of a few of their cherry fruits is empty.
But it does not necessarily mean that cherries grow without seeds. Perhaps some of them just lost their seeds along the way. So, those who love seedless fruits pit out the seed from their cherries. There are two ways they remove seeds from cherries:
Use a Blade
You will need to place the cherry on a cutter. Then you will push it toward a blade that will cut its seed out of the fruit. You will see that this will leave an X-like mark at the exit point of the seed. Nearly all food processors that produce seedless cherries use this method.
You will need a small rigid straw or rod to use this method. What you need to do is to hold the cherry in place. Then you will push the rod in a straight line toward the center of the cherry.
This action will force the fruit to pop its seed to the other side, where a tiny hole is left behind. If you want to pit your cherries at home, this is the easiest method that you can use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people have assumed that seedless cherries are naturally occurring. But some are not sure. So, if you will read the answers to the most often asked questions about seedless cherries, you will know:
Do Seedless Cherries Exist?
No, seedless cherries do not naturally exist; growers make them. Cherries belong to the Prunus genus specie. These fruits are considered drupe or stone fruits since they naturally have seeds inside them when they grow.
Why Are There Seedless Cherries Sold in the Market?
Hands manipulate the seedless cherries that you can buy in the market. Manufacturers of seedless cherries remove the seeds inside the fruit and then sweeten and preserve them before selling them.
What About Seedless Maraschino Cherries?
Seedless maraschino cherries are not grown naturally seedless. They are still regular cherries but have only undergone a process that removes their seeds.
Their manufacturers remove their seeds, then bleach them, sweeten them, preserve them and store them in bottles or cans that they stock in stores for sale.
They do with maraschino cherries to ‘squirt’ out the pits or seeds, and the fruit’s skin is split slightly. Then the flesh of the fruit on the opposite side is slightly bruised.
This way, they can make it look like the fruit is still whole since it retains more flesh. They are so good at doing this that most people can’t distinguish where they removed the pit from the fruit.
Do All Cherries Have Seeds?
Yes, in the natural world, all cherries have seeds. Cherries are fruits that are covered by hard and stony endocarps, which are commonly called kernels. So, if you see seedless cherries sold in the market, they are most likely cherries that have undergone the pit or seed removal process.
Is There Something Wrong with Seedless Cherries?
Not if it is manufactured. When a fruit grows without seeds from the ground, the growers manipulate the tree. This means horticulturists and scientists altered its basic and natural biology.
What happens to the modified fruit is that it will lose some if not all of its nutritional value, aside from it being susceptible to plant diseases.
Can You Grow Seedless Cherries?
Cherries are stone fruits, meaning in nature, they always grow with a pit, or a seed, or a stone inside them. Of course, some of them do grow without stones.
But that is only by chance and not by design. If you successfully plant a cheery seed, and it fully blossoms into a fruiting cherry tree, you will find that its fruit will have seeds.
There was a botanist in the past, a certain Luther Burbank, who was able to grow seedless cherries, but he was only partially successful.
Even today, no horticulturist can grow seedless cherries. The processes they are trying to use can compromise the cherries’ nutritional value.
In Closing: Do Seedless Cherries Really Exist?
All naturally grown cherries have small seeds. There is no exception to this. So, if you see seedless cherries, they are not naturally grown. They are manipulated. All cherries have hardened pits which are called kernels. These hard kernels cover the cherry seeds.
Horticulturists and scientists have been trying to develop seedless cherries since 1914. So far, they could not produce real seedless cherries up to now.
In eating cherries, you usually spit out the pits, although there are times when you can swallow them by accident. That must be why some people prefer to eat ‘seedless’ cherries.