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When is a fruit not a fruit?

When is a fruit not a fruit?

We mentioned tomatoes as being the world’s favourite fruit in terms of the volume consumed – and most people realise that a tomato is a fruit, even though they never think of it as such (although if you’ve ever eaten a ripe cherry tomato straight out of someone’s greenhouse, you’d be in no doubt that this was something you could consume as easily as a bunch of grapes).  

According to botanical definition, the fruit of the plant is the bit that allows the plant to reproduce and since a tomato grows from the flower of a plant and contains seeds it is technically a fruit. And it’s not alone among the salad.  A cucumber is also a fruit; so are peppers.

Other ‘vegetables’ are fruits too: peas, beans, avocadoes (although they’re also known as avocado pears, so not too much of surprise) pumpkins and squashes, aubergines and courgettes. Even corn on the cob is technically a fruit as the individual kernels are seeds that could grow into new plants.

There aren’t as many vegetables that we eat as fruits though – but rhubarb, that long stalk with a big leaf (and no seeds) is of course a vegetable.


However, we couldn’t imagine eating it any other way than cooked with plenty of sugar and topped with pastry or crumble, so in our minds, it will always be a fruit!

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