Ingredients like bell peppers can confuse food and plant lovers alike. With that in mind, in today’s post we tell you if a bell pepper is a fruit or a vegetable and provide an easy method to tell the difference between these two botanical categories.
Fruits vs Vegetables
In a previous post, we talked at length about the differences between fruits and vegetables.
If you don’t have time to read the entire post, here’s a summary of how to tell fruits and vegetables apart:
- Fruits grow from flowers and contain seeds
- Vegetables come from other parts of the plant (such as roots, leaves, and stems) and do not contain seeds
Easy enough, right? Let’s put our classification to the test.
Think of oranges for example. Do they grow from flowers? Yes, they do! Do they contain seeds? You bet! Then oranges are fruits.
Now let’s try the same test with potatoes. Potatoes don’t grow from flowers; they grow from the stem of the plant. Plus, the seeds of the potato plants are located in berries (which are toxic to eat, by the way), not in the potato itself. This means that potatoes are vegetables.
So, Is a Bell Pepper a Fruit or a Vegetable?
While you may be used to thinking of bell peppers as vegetables, they are actually fruits!
First off, bell peppers grow from flowers. If you are having trouble visualizing it, here’s a video showing a time lapse of a flower turning into a pepper over the course of 60 days.
Secondly, bell peppers contain seeds. To verify this, all you have to do is to slice open a ripe bell pepper and shake it over a bowl. The seeds will come spilling out!
So, to sum it up, even though bell peppers are often used as vegetables in the kitchen, they are technically fruits because they grow from flowers and contain seeds.
Interested in learning more about bell peppers? Then check out our previous post, “Which Bell Peppers are the Sweetest?”
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