SO, tonight I’m looking up recipes for cherry pie and I come across one that instructs you to crush the cherry pits with a rolling pin, take the seed out of the pit, and incorporate them into the pie. WHAT? I’d never heard of such a thing, so a few google searches later and I’m reading a few articles about how wonderful the seeds taste and how you should always use peach seeds, cherry seeds, apricot seeds, and so on. It says the cyanide rumor (which I’d heard before) was greatly exaggerated, and the seeds are delicious and that french people always use fruit seeds in dishes. Below is a link to the best article I found on this subject. Has anyone else heard of this or actually used the seeds from fruit pits to cook with or eat? Seems crazy, but now I’m intrigued
@Moley and anyone else who enjoys cooking, what say you?
I’d be a little leery of that. I’m pretty certain that I’ve read there are certain Apricot varieties that have really high cyanide levels. I know some other varieties like Chinese sweet pit have kernels that are supposed to be really tasty.
Isn’t cyanide cummulative over time? Like lead or radiation.
I like the idea but I’m not so sure about the cyanide issue.
There is a variety of apricot with an edible sweet kernel – the sweet heart apricot. The variety of apricot I have has a bitter almond tasting kernel. The bitter taste is amygdalin - which is toxic in high doses. I advise caution against consuming too many. I used to live in Antioch, CA the former apricot capitol of the world. There was an apricot/peach processing/canning plant near downtown. They disposed of the pits by burying them on site. The land is now contaminated and difficult to develop, because of the cyanide in the soil.
Sour cherry pits have high levels of cyanide, if you make wine/liquor from sour cherries, pits must be removed, otherwise alcohol will leach cyanide from pits into the liquid. Some apricot varieties have sweet (edible) kernels and some have bitter kernels which indicates a high level of cyanide and should not be eaten in any form.
I had roasted olive seeds which is very tasty and high aroma. very hard to find , take a lot of work to get a handful
We can metabolize small amount of amygdalin, occasionally. Anything with an almond or cherry flavor has a tiny bit. Cooking is said to make it safer. Some sources claim Native Americans would even crush and heat the pits of chokecherries in order to make them edible.
I personally hate that category of flavors, so I haven’t tried it. I’m also not a doctor, and can’t tell you whether it’s safe, but people in the past did eat pits.
Thanks for the interesting link. The author is presumably still alive, so that’s some evidence supporting the idea that this practice is safe. I’ve also read of a very traditional French cherry cake that’s baked with whole sweet cherries, pits and all, for the flavor that the pits add to the rest of the cake. French people know to avoid cracking a tooth on the pits when they eat the cake.
The dose makes the poison, unless you’re talking about something like lead, that accumulates. That link about cyanide from a fruit cannery is just another example of how large industries can cause problems by concentrating chemicals that are harmless in smaller amounts. Manure is another example. On a small farm, it’s fertilizer, but on a huge feed lot, it poisons water and air.
Never heard of cracking the pit, but after pitting a bunch of cherries, chucking the pits with whatever Klingons into a jug of whipping cream, soak for a while and bang! Cherry cream for whipping.