Alexandra Bruce
July 1, 2015

What’s the difference between a vegetable and a fruit?

Anything that is a root, stem or leaf is a vegetable. Corn, zucchini and green beans are all fruit and so are tomatoes because…they’re ovaries.

Fruits are the ovaries of a flowering plant, that develop after the seeds are fertilized.

Berries, by definition are fruit that come from a single ovary with multiple seeds. That makes grapes, bananas, bell peppers and tomatoes different types of berries.

However, raspberries and blackerries are something totally different; they’re called “aggregate fruits”; a whole bunch of little fruits which grew together…and strawberries aren’t even berries or even fruit. They have a special kind of plant structure that’s called a fleshy receptacle. Technically, the “fruit” part of strawberries are the tiny outer seeds, which are called “achenes.”

Nuts are fruits, too and their shells develop from the ovary wall – but technically, walnuts and pecans are not nuts, along with other single-ovary fruits, along with peaches, plums and coconuts – they’re called drupes.

Drupes only have one seed, with a distinct skin covering…raspberries and blackberries are aggregate drupes.

Now you know, the next time a pedant wants to tell you that tomatoes are fruits…

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