Puzzled Produce

Did you know that many of the plants we eat on a daily basis are often categorized as something they’re not? When you were a child, you were probably shocked when someone first explained that a tomato was actually a fruit! (If no one told you that…well, you’re probably shocked right now!) Let’s uncover the other produce we’ve wrongly identified throughout the years….

1. The Tomatillo

Most people think of green Tomatillos as an unripe tomato, but in fact, they’re a different plant all together! Tomatillo is a small spherical shaped berry in the tomato family of fruits.


2. The Cucumber

Wait a second…really?! Yes, the cucumber is also a fruit! The seeds inside the gourd make it an official member of the fruit family. “Why have we been calling it a vegetable our entire lives?” you may be asking. I guess you can chalk that up to culinary tradition. Does that mean pickles are a fruit too? Well, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, because they have seeds, pickles are also technically a “fruit of the vine”. (See source here.)



3. The Pumpkin

Just like our friend the cucumber, pumpkins also grow on a vine and contain seeds inside the gourd. There’s no mistaking it – pumpkins are most definitely a variety of fruit. It really makes a lot of sense, if you think about it over a plate of warm, vegan pumpkin pie!


4. The Avocado

This beautiful, delicious piece of produce is always on my grocery list. A great substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches, a yummy dip for other vegetables (or are they fruit…?), and perfectly tasty on their own, avocados are downright heavenly. You would think that an avid avocado eater such as myself, would know whether or not this was a veggie or a fruit. Alas, I had no idea. After doing a bit of research, it turns out that this humble green snack is also a fruit. If you think about it, the large pit inside is very similar to that of an apricot or a plum.


5. The Watermelon

If you’re waiting for me to tell you that the watermelon is a vegetable, I’m sorry but no, that’s not the case… although that would be very exciting news! The watermelon is indeed a fruit, like most of us (I hope) have always known. A fact that you may have been unaware of however, is that these giant melons are actually considered “berries.” According to Wikipedia, a melon is any of various plants of the family Cucurbitaceae with sweet edible, fleshy fruit. Botanically, a melon is a kind of berry, specifically a “pepo.” Very interesting!



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