Many "vegetables" are actually fruits (and vice versa)

DISCLAIMER Everything you thought you knew about definitions of “fruits” and “vegetables” may be upended by reading this thread.

It’s like taking the blue pill or the red pill - once you take the red pill you can never go back to the way things were…

What is a fruit?

“fruit, the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a flowering plant, enclosing the seed or seeds. Thus, apricots, bananas, and grapes, as well as bean pods, corn grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, and (in their shells) acorns and almonds, are all technically fruits.”

What is a vegetable?

“A vegetable is the edible portion of a plant. Vegetables are usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten such as leaves (lettuce), stem (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato), bulbs (onion) and flowers (broccoli).”

Add to this that figs are technically flowers and as such would technically be classified as vegetables…


What is a berry?

" There are two specific types of berries that characterize certain taxonomic groups. The leathery-rinded berry of citrus fruits (genus Citrus) is called a hesperidium. The elongated tough-skinned fruits of the family Cucurbitaceae, including watermelons, cucumbers, and gourds, are a type of berry referred to as pepos.

Any small fleshy fruit is popularly called a berry, especially if it is edible. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, for example, are not true berries but are aggregate fruits—fruits that consist of a number of smaller fruits. Cranberries and blueberries, however, are true botanical berries. "

But wait! Berries are supposed to be small right? Pawpaws are actually berries, sometimes weighing around 1 kilogram.


How about this: all fruits are just plant parts you eat, so all fruits are therefore a type of vegetable.


I think Bananas are Grass Berries. 8-D

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That is kind of alluded to in the vegetable definition but I figured someone would get there eventually :wink:

Maybe we should rename to Only the true fruit fanatics would find it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My coworker calls all plants big grass or little grass. It’s big grass if it can kill you if it falls on you.

The fruits are berries, but the plant is a tropical bulb — neither annual nor perennial.


I was thinking something to do with it being a monocot I guess.

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Confused! I start to have a headache

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It comes to a point of talking about semantics and popular definitions… If people use well formatted sentences it could remove most any confusion… Botanically speaking this tomato is a fruit, Socially speaking this tomato is a vegetable.

I am no expert in English or semantics but, I have an urge to simplify it for people fresh into the topic.

It is a fun topic because it helps re-ignite this wonder in some people about what are things really. These things we take for granted as a common occurrence might actually be something different. Then we start to wonder how does this actually happen as we zoom in with our imagination. How do plants and animals do this magic we simply consider self replication. How does this fruit expand or duplicate it’s cells out of such a tiny point of seemingly nothing(a flower, or seed), and then this result of magical cellular duplication can nourish us to survive and trigger all these chemicals in our brain that could otherwise be dormant if we only ate phytochemically empty foods of modern society…

It can be a trip if you let the mental muscle flex into this child like mode.


And then there are those of use who eat tomatoes like any other fruit. Picked fresh and eaten immediately as a whole fruit…

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We all engage in “importance sampling”.

For cherry or grape tomatoes (aptly named) I do as well.

My wife has a coworker who will just crunch right into an onion with their lunch occasionally… No thanks!

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As a geologist who has their pilots license, big grass and little grass are lower on their level of importance.

I start to see the beauty of my local grocery store calls them " Produce" which minimizes many argument or disagreement


A work conversation about what a “fruit” is sparked this post initially.

It also amazes me how few people know how “produce” (probably the best talking term, thanks Annie @IL847) like a golden delicious apple is “made”.

From rootstock to grafting to spraying to watering to fertilizing to picking to storing to shipping to… you get my point.

you forgot seeding, breeding, pollinating, pest evading.

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my father used to do that or make a onion sandwich with mayo. yuck! used to eat raw corn as well.


Funky thing to know, there is no actual definition of “vegetable” other than some part of a plant. Fruit, on the other hand, has a very specific definition which in one way or another means the reproductive part of a plant. A cantaloupe is a fruit, a tomato is a fruit, etc. Some fruits are also drupes. If you see any drupe fruits hanging around, don’t bother them, they are maturing.

Paraphrasing the thread title, Many “people” are actually fruits (and vice versa) :open_mouth: :smiley: :tomato:


“A man’s true strength is not measured by the size of his muscles; rather, it is measured by the size of his tears while eating a raw onion”

-Me right now :joy:


I have known this stuff for years. There is the quote on quote scientific definitions and then there is what most people call it. Like someone said by scientific definition a cherry is a drupe and not a fruit, a banana is a berry and a raspberry is an aggregate fruit. Would most people call them their scientific piece I would say no. Just like how the salmon we buy is actually trout most people will not admit to it or even acknowledge that they are being mislead.

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