Scientifically, a fruit comes from the seed-bearing part of a plant that grows from a fertilized female flower, and fruits have seeds inside. Vegetables come from any other part of the plant. That makes for some interesting contradictions in common food culture!
We tend to classify plants as vegetables based on culinary uses or how we cook with them. If they’re used in savory dishes, they are called a vegetable. But, the botanical truth is a little more complicated. Did you know that these common “vegetables” are actually fruits?
Tomatoes are at the top of many people’s favorite vegetables list. But, tomato seeds are easy to spot when you cut into a tomato, which means they are actually fruits!
The avocado is more popular than ever, as a spread on toast and as the main ingredient in guacamole. But, while most people would think of it as a healthy vegetable, it’s actually a healthy single-seed berry—in other words, a fruit.
Some people might put pumpkins properly in the fruit category because they associate them with pumpkin pie. But, squash, which is also a fruit, is most often thought of as a vegetable. Both squash and pumpkins have seeds inside so they are both fruit.
Bell peppers are famous for being the non-spicy pepper option and they are used in many savory dishes. If you’ve ever cut into a bell pepper you know that the inside is full of seeds, the key sign that this popular veggie is actually a fruit.
Eggplant may seem like a quintessential vegetable, especially considering how it’s used in cooking. However, when you look closely you will see that there are tiny seeds inside. It’s a fruit!