When it comes to categorizing fruits and vegetables it seems to depend on whether you’re a chef or a gardener. But if we’re going to speak botanically then there are a few ‘vegetables’ that you may not know are actually fruit. So what is the difference between a fruit and vegetable? Well, a fruit is a seed bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant and a vegetable is basically everything else – root, stem and leaf. So on a technically many of our favourite vegetables are actually our favourite fruits!
The trusty tomato is probably the most well known fruit parading as a vegetable. Growing like a shrub they are usually supported by trellis’s. A fun fact about the tomato is that it is legally considered a ‘vegetable’ in the United States of America. The Supreme Court ruled that the tomato should be classified as vegetable rather than a fruit in 1893 for tax reasons, vegetables at the time were taxed where as fruits were not!
You may have never considered this one before but the lovely little olive is actually a fruit – think about that next time you pour your olive oil (aka Fruit Oil) into a pan! Along with being a love Mediterranean fruit the olive branch is also symbol for peace with records of its symbolism dating as far back to ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. It is also part of the symbol on the united nations flag for this reason.
A little bitter and definitely savoury you wouldn’t catch us eating this fruit raw! We don’t want to confuse you too much but eggplants are actually also considered berries – although we do not recommend them in your desserts!
Growing from the flower of a ground vine the pumpkin is one of the biggest fruits of them all and make great haloween lanterns.
Cucumbers & Zucchinis
Stuffed Zucchini flowers on menus should have been a dead give away for this one. Just like their cousin the pumpkin, zucchinis and cucumbers both grow on vines and can often be seen with flowers hanging from the end of them – which are delicious stuffed with ricotta and deep fried!
We think this is the most vegetabley fruit of them all! Next time you order a steak and side of beans comes out with a side of mash potato you can rest assured you have had a complete meal of fruit, vegetable and protein!
Capsicum & Chili (are fruits!)
You can tell your kids that chills are fruit but this is not gong to change the fact that they will most likely induce tears and a lot of water drinking if consumed. The sweet capsicum however is much easier to claim as a fruit with its sweet and crunchy flesh.
An Australian breakfast classic the avocado might just be one of Australia’s most favourite fruit!
There you have it! While we won’t be adding these fruits to a fruit salad any time soon we still love them just as much (and will stick to our vegetable style recipes!). If you’re thinking about growing any of these fruits parading as vegetables then check out our guide to growing vegetables in the tropics.