Did you know that tomatoes are technically fruits but are considered vegetables for legal purposes? This fun factoid proves that the line between these two types of products is not always clear. That’s why today we help you discern what is the difference between fruits and vegetables.
What Are Fruits?
Let’s begin by defining what fruit is.
Botanically speaking, a fruit has two main characteristics. It develops from the flower of a plant and contains seeds.
With this basic definition in mind, it’s easy to see why oranges, apples, and lemons are considered fruits. These three examples are clear-cut: all grow from the flower of their respective plants, and all contain seeds. There are other cases that are more complex, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
What Are Vegetables?
We mentioned earlier that fruits develop from the flower of a plant. Simply put, vegetables are the products that come from all the other parts of the plant. This includes leaves, roots, and stems.
Some of the clearest examples of vegetables include potatoes (which are technically a stem), carrots (roots), and lettuce (leaves).
Now that we have solid definitions of fruits and vegetables, we can tackle some more challenging examples.
What Is the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables?
So, to recap: fruits grow from flowers and contain seeds, while vegetables come from all the other parts of the plant and do not contain seeds.
While this definition seems unambiguous enough, the resulting classification may surprise you.
Take, for example, zucchini. While most people think of it as a vegetable, it’s actually a fruit from a botanical standpoint because it grows from a flower and contains seeds. The same principle applies to cucumbers.
Tomato is a case of its own in the fruits-vegetables debate. While tomatoes are technically fruits, an 1893 Supreme Court ruling declared them vegetables for the purposes of the U.S. Customs Law.
Finally, regardless of how you decide to apply these definitions, remember that a diet rich both in fruits and vegetables is a delicious way to stay fit and energized.
Hungry for Interesting Food Facts?
At Chef Gourmet, we know good food, and we love sharing that knowledge with you. If we have whetted your appetite for interesting food facts, here are some previous posts you may find interesting:
- Turkey vs. chicken: which one is best for you?
- How to make marinara sauce: 3 delicious tips
- How chicken became a global food
- Why is it important to eat vegetables?
- Soba Noodles: Everything You Need to Know
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