What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? Often times what we think are fruits or vegetables are really the opposite, and it leaves us wondering if we were paying attention when we were being taught back in primary school.
Botanically speaking, a fruit is a fleshy seed-bearing food that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Vegetables, on the other hand, are parts of the plant, whether they be leaves, stems or roots. In culinary terms, many fruits fall under the umbrella of vegetables even though they are not, which often confuses people. These "crossovers" include bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers.
The fruit versus vegetable controversy has been going on for so long that in 1893, the United States Supreme Court case Nix. v. Hedden had to step in to determine whether tomatoes should be taxed as vegetables or cucumbers.
How well do you know the difference between fruits and vegetables? Well in this quiz, you will be given images of a series of these types of foods and your job is to guess which of the food groups they fall into. Will you be able to tell whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Take this quiz to find out!
Asparagus, sometimes referred to as sparrow grass, is a widely cultivated spring vegetable which its stems are prepared in a number of ways, but typically as side dishes. It is a very good source of vitamin B6, fiber as well as vitamins E and K.
Tomatoes are a species of fruits which belong to the nightshade family and originated in western South America, where it was used by the indigenous people. They are consumed in many different ways, some of which includes in sauces and salads as well as in its raw form.
Rutabagas are root vegetables which originated as a result of cross-breeding a cabbage and a turnip. Apart from being prepared in a number of different ways for human consumption, they are often used to feed livestock during the winter months.
A nectarine is a variety of peaches (a type of juicy fruit which is native to regions of Northwest China) which is often called the “shaved" or "fuzzless" peach because it lacks the short hairs seen on other peaches. It also differs in aroma and flavor despite looking like it.
Mangoes are a type of tropical fruit which includes a number of species, many of which are found in Asian countries. It is the national fruit of many of those countries, and it is exported from there to many parts of the world.
Arugula, sometimes called colewort or rocket, is an edible leafy vegetable which is known for the peppery flavor that it adds to dishes. It has a number of benefits, some of which include reduced risk of cancer, weight loss and improved eyesight.
Olives are a type of fruit which originated from the Mediterranean basin and the parts of Asia. The green and/or purple fruit is extremely sacred to the people living in that region and is the source of olive oil.
Potatoes are starchy tuberous vegetables which have become an integral food source in many parts of the world. There are over 5,000 varieties, most of which are found in South America and many of which have been cross-bred in order to transfer resistance to pests and disease.
Cauliflower is a type of vegetable which belongs to the Brassica genus. The head, which is composed of inflorescence meristems and is often referred to as “curd," is the only part of that is edible. There are many different colors and cultivars available.
Corn, also known as maize, is a cereal grain which was first used by the indigenous people of Mexico. This food which has become a staple food not only on its own, but also in other food products, is a fruit. The major types of corn include popcorn, sweet corn and flour corn among others.
Lettuce is a leaf vegetable which can be found growing in a variety of strains all around the world. It is one of the most commonly eaten vegetables, and over 20 million tons are consumed every year. It is typically used in salads, soups, sandwiches, and wraps and can be prepared in a number of ways.
Pineapples are tropical fruits which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help to boost the immune system. One pineapple is made up of multiple berries which coalesce at the center. There are many different types, many of which come from Brazil, Costa Rica and the Philippines.
Cucumbers are fruits which are grown from the creeping vines which come in three different varieties; pickling, seedless and slicing. They originated from South Asia but can now be found growing and cultivated in most countries.
Eggplant, sometimes called aubergine or brinjal, is a species of edible fruit which was so named because of its egg-like shape. These fruits are known for their meaty texture and have been used in a number of dishes in a variety of preparations.
Carrots are root vegetables which have been said to have originated in Persia. They can be found growing in a variety of cultivars in many different colors, each of which has its own unique flavor. They are all known for being a good source of Vitamin K, B6, and beta-carotene.
Limes are hybrid citrus fruits which consist of several species. They are known for their acidic juices which are used in everything from juices and cocktails, to desserts and other dishes. Some of the most popular types include Key lime, Kaffir limes and Persian limes.
Okra, sometimes called ladies’ fingers, are a type of fruit which is cultivated in warm temperate regions of the world. It is known for its slime-like consistency once cooked, but it is typically seen either fried or boiled.
Apples are sweet fruits which are said to originate from Central Asia. There are said to be over 7,000 cultivars, most of which have been used in different types of food preparations, as well as in drinks and eaten in their raw state.
Kohlrabi is a vegetable which belongs to the same species as cabbage, cauliflower, kale and collard greens. The taste has been likened to that of broccoli, but is said to be milder and sweeter and can be eaten in its raw state
Bell peppers are a species of peppers which are native to Central and South America. They fall into the category of fruits and can be seen growing in a variety of colors including red, yellow, orange and green as well as white and purple.
Beetroots are the root portion of the beet plant which is a type of root vegetable and is used in a variety of dishes from salads to pastes to candy and desserts. It is also used as a medicinal plant and as a source of food coloring.
Endive is a leafy vegetable which is grown in two main varieties, the curly endives or frisée and the broad-leaved endive, sometimes called escarole. The leaves are crunchy and are typically used in salads but are also cooked in other dishes.
Pumpkin is a type of squash (a species of edible fruit) which is well known for its deep yellow to orange color, although there are many varieties. It is used in both food and recreation, especially around the fall seasons for pumpkin carving.
Onions, sometimes called bulb onions, are vegetables which are closely related to chives, leek and garlic. They are grown all around the world and are known for their pungent odor, which can sometimes irritate the eye when chopped.
Jicama, sometimes called the yam bean or Mexican turnip, is a tuberous root vegetable whose texture resembles that of a pear or raw potato. While some people choose to eat it raw, it is sometimes cooked in soups and is popularly seen in salads and other cooked dishes.
Grapes are a type of fruit which grows from woody vines from the Vitis genus. They are usually eaten fresh but they are also used for making different jams and juices, raisins and oils as well as wine. It also holds religious significance in Greek and Roman culture, as well as the Christian faith.
Zucchini, sometimes called a courgette or marrow, is a type of squash best known for being the key ingredient in the French dish, ratatouille. Although it is treated as a vegetable, zucchinis are fruits. It comes in varying shades of green as well as a hybrid called the golden zucchini.
Avocados are both a type of tree and a fruit which grows from it which are typically eaten when ripe. They are said to be large berries with contain a single large seed often referred to as a pit. They are a rich source of good cholesterol and are said to improve cholesterol profiles.
Pears are a type of fruit which is native to temperate regions of Africa, Europe, and Asia. They are typically eaten in their raw form, but they have also been used to make juices, pies and tarts, as well as salads and sandwiches.
Butternut squash, sometimes called gramma or butternut pumpkin, is a type of winter squash (fruit), which grows on a vine, similar to pumpkins. It is a very good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A and is known for its sweet and nutty flavor.
Parsnips are root vegetables which are closely related to carrots and parsley. Parsnips are usually served cooked and are known for the high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cranberries are red fruits which are acidic yet sweet in taste. They are one of the largest commercial crops in North America, where they have been processed into juice and sauces, especially around the holiday season.
Celery is a plant which is cultivated as a vegetable in many different parts of the world. Its long fibrous stalk and leaves are both used as a seasoning and a spice in different dishes, and in some places, a herbal medication.
Oranges are citrus fruits which are hybrids of mandarins and pomelos. They are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates and almost 70 million tons are grown every year. There are several varieties, many of which are eaten in their raw state, as well as in juices and desserts.
Leeks are vegetables which belong to the same genus of onion, garlic, chives and scallions. They have a mild taste, similar to that of onions, and only the light and the dark green bundle of leaf sheaths are edible.
Apricots are a type of stone fruit which come from the same family as nectarines, cherries, peaches and plums. They have been many health claims about this fruit, some of which include treatment for indigestion and ear pain as well as various skin conditions.
Elderberries are a type of fruit which comes from the honeysuckle family and can be found growing in temperate to subtropical regions. They are used with minor ailments including constipation and the flu. In their raw form, they are said to be poisonous.
Figs are fruits which belong to the mulberry family. They are typically eaten in their fresh and raw form or dried and are usually incorporated in jams, pies and pastries but are most famous for being used in Fig Newton cookies.
Watermelon is a type of fruit which grows off vines on the ground. They are known for their sweet taste and are very popular during the summer time where they are consumed in slices as well as in salads and drinks.
Plums are a type of fruit which belongs to the same genus as peaches, cherries and apricots. There are many different cultivars, the most popular of which are Victoria plums, Mirabelle, Damsons and Greengage.