Raspberries are never missing from the produce section, year-round. Sometimes they’re good, but often they’re sour and not really that great. Some of the most common questions regarding raspberries, aside from why you can’t find a decent batch, are why they’re fuzzy and why they’re hollow inside.
And most perplexing: do raspberries have seeds ? You’d expect fruit to have seeds, and that’s always on the inside. So where is the seed on a raspberry ? Let’s find out.
Do raspberries have seeds ?
Yes, raspberries do have seeds. They have as many seeds as they have sections, those tiny pockets that make up the entirety of the raspberry. And the seeds are inside each pocket (or drupe), which is why you always find those small, light brown beads in fresh raspberries.
Most raspberry jams strain the seeds, though this takes a lot of time and effort because the jam needs to be squeezed through a mesh sieve. The seeds aren’t a threat to your health, but they aren’t digested and will pass through your body unchanged. They also prove to stick between teeth.
Raspberries are a composite fruit
These little red fruits are actually not berries, and they’re very different from most fruit. Actually, they’re more similar to a pineapple ! This is because the raspberry, as we know it, is actually a structure made up of tiny little fruits, and those are the actual berries.
Similarly, a pineapple’s many ‘eyes’ and sections are actually the berries that grow together and form a tight structure. If you take a fresh pineapple and roll it with some force on the counter, you’ll see the sections separating a little.
Raspberries are much, much more fragile, which is they they fall apart so easily.
So what other fruits are like raspberries ? Well blackberries, for starters. The difference is blackberries come with the middle (stem) attached, while raspberries detach from the stem.
Grapes are a similar fruit, especially if you think of the stem and vine as the white part inside of the raspberry.
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How to remove raspberry seeds
You can remove strawberry seeds, but you will have to mash the fruit. You cannot remove the seeds without damaging the fruit and turning everything into a fine pulp. Which is why we recommend you make a sauce or jam, if you want to remove the seeds.
All you need to do is mash the fruit inside a mesh sieve, and push with the back of a spoon. The pulp and juice of the raspberries will go through the sieve, and the seeds will be left behind.
Or you can simmer the raspberries whole and once your jam is cooked but hasn’t thickened, strain it through a sieve and the seeds will be left behind. You may need to stop every few minutes to remove the seeds and rinse the sieve, because it will get blocked very easily.
Raspberry substitutes (seedless)
Looking for some quick and painless way to get red fruit without using raspberries ? There are a few ideas you can try, but none of them taste like strawberry. However they’re great on their own and will definitely help you achieve a fruity flavor. If you really, really want to include some raspberry flavor there are plenty of brands that offer raspberry extract, along with the traditional vanilla or rum.
Strawberries aren’t around all the time, but you can easily find frozen ones. They do have seeds, but their seeds are so, so small they won’t really be a problem. You can use these fresh or cooked, however you prefer.
Cherries have their own, special flavor that rivals raspberries. They’re not as sweet as strawberries, in terms of flavor not actual sugar content. So they might be a better match than strawberries, but it really depends on who you’re cooking for.
The pits in cherries are easy to remove, or you can get frozen ones that are already pitted.
Cranberries or currants
Cranberries and currants bring a lot of pigment and tartness to anything, so you may want to add a bit more sugar. These are small, dainty-looking berries so they look stunning as decoration.
If you really, really, really want raspberries, you can still get them, but it’s a stretch. You can buy powdered raspberries. These are dehydrated and ground to a fine powder, and you can easily add them to whatever you’re cooking or baking. Usually the seeds are removed before the fruit is ground.
Keep in mind that adding them to a cream or something similar (moist) will thicken the mixture. These are dehydrated raspberries, so they will draw whatever moisture is in the mixture.
Why are raspberries hollow ?
Raspberries are hollow because the white, middle part is actually the stem of the fruit. As the raspberry grows, all of its drupes knit together to form a mostly stable structure. The physical connection with the stem is flimsy, meaning the whole fruit structure can easily be removed and the raspberry appears hollow or empty on the inside.
In truth, that is simple the shape of the raspberry, there is nothing missing from it. By comparison, blackberries have a much stronger connection between the drupes and the stem. So you end up picking the fruit with the stem attached, while the raspberry leaves the stem behind.
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Why are raspberries fuzzy ?
The little hairs on the raspberry fruit are actually there to protect from insects. The surface becomes very difficult to navigate, much like the bird spiked many public buildings use to keep pigeons away.
The hair is not harmful to humans, and they don’t cause irritation as some kiwi hair do. Instead, they’re just there for protection, and you won’t notice them when eating.
Don’t confuse the hairs with mold ! Old raspberries may begin to mold, and they can look like stark white hairs. By comparison, the protective fuzz on raspberries is thin and light yellow.
In short, raspberry seeds are fairly easy to remove, but there is no way to keep the fruit intact. You will have to squish it, so you’re likely ending up with a raspberry sauce or jam anyway.