Strawberries

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by starlite, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. starlite

    starlite

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    I have a question I simply cannot find the answer to. Strawberries are mainly made up of seeds - the seeds make the strawberry a strawberry, so what happens and how do we get seedless strawberry jam or what have you?
    Thanks - this one has had me stumped for a long time! :confused:
     
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Even though you don't have the seeds you still have the flavor which is the essence of the strawberry so what you are left with is a strawberry jam, not a strawberry. The goal is the get the flavor of the strawberry that is all.
     
  3. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Hi Starlite,
    Straining the strawberry puree makes it seedless. The jam is made from thepureed juice and pulp of the berry.
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    And Pectin
     
  5. starlite

    starlite

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    Thanks so much, everyone. I'm still a little stumped because I still find it difficult to figure out where the actual strawberry is when it is de-seeded.
    I know I probably sound like a dunce, but I'm just a great-cook and baker "wanna-be". I do pretty well at baking, but so-so at cooking. Anyway, I started making my own strawberry-banana jam a few years ago. I love that combo and can't find it in the stores around here. When I did once, it didn't have any banana taste at all and the strawberry taste was very subdued. Anway, I found a great recipe and tried my had at jam/jelly making for the first time and it was delicious! Well, I'm single, live alone so I gave my folks about four jars out of the eight. Months later when I was waiting for strawberries to be at their peek to make some more, my mom tells me the seeds bothered my dad. (He has dentures and I guess they get stuck in them).

    I'm sorry - I'm getting way off topic here. The thing is, I'd like to be able to make my same recipe but remove the seeds. Would you happen to know if that is possible without seeing the recipe? Thanks - and I sincerely appreciate the answers given here. You're all the first to even respond to this question and I've written supposed pro's and everything - even Martha Stewart! I really did! She just basically confirmed the fact that yes, strawberries were made out of the seeds and gave me a recipe but it was just strawberrry jam.

    Okay, I'm shutting up now! Sorry I got so long winded here.
     
  6. marmalady

    marmalady

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    Haven't made jam/jelly in a few years, but if memory serves me correct, 'jam' is made from whole fruit, with pieces of the fruit in it, and 'jelly' is made from strained fruit juice/puree. You can strain the strawberry puree, but then isn't it technically called a 'jelly'?

    To get more 'strawberry essence' from your pureed strawberries, what about reducing the puree a little to concentrate the flavor? Also, don't know what your quantities of strawberries/bananas were, but maybe the proportions were wrong.
     
  7. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Jelly is made from juice, and jam is made from the pulp and juice. Preserves have chunks of fruit in it.

    Don't forget pectin, as CC mentioned:) , or sugar for that matter!!:D
     
  8. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Hi Starlite,

    Welcome to Cheftalk!

    There are plenty of "Strawberry Banana Jam Recipes" but that's not what you're looking for. Most of them appear to be the essentially same with minor variations.

    When you cook the mixture, the inherent flavors we perceive to be strawberry are cooked into the mixture.

    You're father is preferring a "seedless strawberry banana jam". Maybe you could look for or order strawberries which have smaller seeds. Or be extra sure to puree them longer than normal so as to best pulverize the seeds. Maybe the strawberries you used simply had larger seeds than normal. There are many different varieties of strawberries. Some have seeds which may not be so distracting when incorporated into a jam.

    It is possible that the seedless strawberry jam or preserves you buy in the store may be comprised of "strawberry flavorings". The best analogy I can give you is the difference between "imitation vanilla" and "pure vanilla extract" Imitation vanilla is completely artificial. "Imitation Vanilla: a mixture made from synthetic substances which imitate the vanilla smell and flavor. Often contains propylene glycol, which is also found in automotive anti-freeze." :eek: "Imitation vanilla is composed of artificial flavorings (most of which are paper-industry by-products treated with chemicals). It often has a harsh quality and bitter aftertaste."

    "Pure Vanilla Extract Liquid: made from vanilla beans, alcohol and water, with possibly sugar added. Must contain at least 35% alcohol." When you are aware of the difference in flavor, you'll never go near the imitation version.

    If the seeds bother your father that much, sounds like you should look for a recipe containing strawberry extract instead of using real strawberries but since most recipes call for more than 3 cups of fresh strawberries, this comprises most of the overall texture and bulk of the final product so I don't think this would work.

    First we need to understand the definition of exactly what a "jam" is. By definition "Jams are made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar until the mixture will round up on a spoon. Jams should be made in small batches and cooked rapidly after the sugar has dissolved. Jams can be made of one fruit or a combination of fruits. They should be firm but spreadable; jams do not hold the shape of the jar."

    You're wanting the seeds out. In order for you to get the "seeds" separated from the "strawberry", you would have to "strain (the) mixture through (a) damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth to extract juice." But if you did this, you would be straining away all the wonderful pulp which is the bulk of the "jam" you're wanting to make in the first place. This process is how "jellies" are made, but you aren't wanting to make a "jelly". :rolleyes:

    "Strained juice from fruit is used to make jellies. They are usually prepared in a way that keeps them crystal clear and shimmering. Jellies are gelatinized enough to make them firm and capable of holding their shape outside the jar, yet soft enough to spread easily." From: Canning Fruit

    To sum it all up. I'm not sure it's possible to make a "seedless strawberry banana jam". Jams are made of crushed fruit. If you strain out the solids of that fruit (which is what would happen if you tried to strain the seeds out), you don't have a jam anymore.

    At the same time, there are "seedless strawberry jams" in the market that you can purchase. I'm just not sure how they're made. If you can find a "homemade seedless strawberry jam" recipe, this would help you figure out how to make your homemade seedless strawberry-banana jam recipe.

    If I were you, I'd either go out of my way to track down a strawberry with smaller seeds or simply try making completely different flavor of jam to give to your father. Fruit lovers who use jam usually enjoy several different fruits. There are so many wonderful recipes out there, check here and here here. I'm sure he'll adore anything lovingly homemade by his daughter.

    I hope this helps to answer some of your questions.


    :bounce:
     
  9. mudbug

    mudbug

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    I've got it. If you're bound and determined to make this specific kind, since the seeds are all on the outside of the strawberry, simply take a paring knife and trim off the outside of each strawberry just as you would peel the skin off an apple or a peach. It will be extra work and you'll need extra strawberries but it would be a solution producing to a seedless jam.

    :)
     
  10. starlite

    starlite

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    Wow...you're good! :) Really, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the time and attention you gave to me and my silly problem! Well, it's not silly to me, but some have told me it is - that's why I say that. You certainly didn't make me feel silly for asking and I sincerely cannot tell you how very much I appreciate that. That must have took some time and those wonderful lnks! Being the recipe hound I am, I simply have to check out those recipes! I'm so glad I found this forum as I have no one in my life I can talk to about cooking and such. My mom - and I love her dearly, this is not a put down, just the truth, hates the kitchen! Oh and I love it so much! All kinds of cooking and baking, too - low fat, low sugar, low salt, low carb - I enjoy learning about it all. Oops, getting carried away...

    I loved your comments on vanilla. I am by no stretch a pro-cook but I have done a lot and read much and love cooking shows, magazines etc., and I can assure you, I despise imitation vanilla - heck, imitation anything! I'm right with you on that one! (I can't even stand pepper out of a container - have a pepper mill now and am hooked on it).

    I once had it out with a Watkins stand at an event in my home town called "LakeFest". They talk up their Vanilla like it's the best thing to hit the market since God made water! So I asked them why they didn't have REAL vanilla and you should have heard the prittle-prattle they gave me! And even after all my arguments they tried to sell me the crap! Telling me "REAL" vanilla wasn't necessary and was a waste of money...yada, yada, yada. I walked away knowing I would never buy another Watkins product and wondering, as well, how many new cooks and bakers they tell this line of bunk to that fall for it. That is a shame, really.

    After reading what to me was a fascinating lesson on Strawberries - and I humbly admit I know very little about different varieties - those are the types of things I am not first beginning to learn. I never knew there were different varieties of any fruits until a couple years ago when I got this computer and started reading more on cooking. I also learn from cooking shows. But I still don't know a lot. Working on that though!

    I love the links, too - can't believe how many strawberry-banana jam/jelly recipes there are out there! I just bought a seedless strawberry jam today. The ingredients say: Strawberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, fruit pectin, citric acid.

    Now, when you said this:
    "But if you did this, you would be straining away all the wonderful pulp which is the bulk of the "jam" you're wanting to make in the first place".

    And this:

    "To sum it all up. I'm not sure it's possible to make a "seedless strawberry banana jam". Jams are made of crushed fruit. If you strain out the solids of that fruit (which is what would happen if you tried to strain the seeds out), you don't have a jam anymore".

    Those are precisely the things I was concerned about. The idea of scraping off the seeds is something to consider, but in all honesty, I'm not sure I want to go that far. I'll check those links and see if I can't learn more about purchasing strawberries with smaller seeds like you said. If those still bother him, I guess we will have to try a different kind!

    Well, now look who is getting on a roll! Sorry - but it's so nice to get some clues and answers here I have to say again, I cannot tell you how very much I appreciate it, cchiu! I can sure see you know your food! :)

    Take care and blessings for all your help! I'm go to go link=looking now. :)
     
  11. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Starlite,

    My pleasure, that's what we're here for and we all have to start somwhere!

    If you want to look into different varieties of food you can grow, check out the many wonderful links here. They will direct you to sources for free catalogs and web sites which you will have a joy browsing.

    :)
     
  12. starlite

    starlite

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    Wow...that is great, thanks! I'll take some time this week-end to look those over. I can get so lost in that stuff, hours will go by on me like a flash!

    once again, thank you so much.