10 Vegetables You Did Not Know Are Actually Fruits

 Rajveer Sharma

Apples, mangoes, bananas, pomegranates, grapes, etc., we all have been taught to differentiate fruits from vegetables from our pre-nursery days. The list of fruits and vegetables has been memorized and it is easy for us to tell a fruit apart from a vegetable not just by the list that we’re taught but also by its taste and uses. Basic differentiators are the notions that fruits are sweet while vegetables are not and that we usually eat fruits as raw or in some sweet dish form while vegetables are cooked as curries or eaten in salads. However, the line differentiating the two blurs out when we get to know that there are a number of fruits that we mistake as vegetables because they are cooked with all those spices or eaten as salads. If your mind is also confused and is seeking some clarity, this blog lists the names of the 10 vegetables that are actually fruits. Let’s have a quick read:

1. Peppers

Usually considered as one of the spiciest vegetables, peppers, capsicum, and chilies are actually fruits. These belong to the berries’ family that has its seeds in the hollow interiors. Whether we talk about the sweet tasting red yellow and green bell peppers or the hot and spicy jalapeño peppers, they belong to the fruit family only.


2. Pumpkin

Ever wondered why pumpkins have that sweet taste? Well, that’s because they are actually fruits and not vegetables. They might be too big to be categorized as fruits but the seeds present inside them certify that they are actually fruits. These are a part of the cucurbit family.


3. Tomatoes

One of the most debated questions is whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. Although used in the preparation of almost every curry, tomatoes are not vegetable but fruits in reality. In fact, people have been using tomatoes as vegetables on such large scale that the Supreme Court declared tomatoes to be taxed as vegetables in 1893. The tomato suppliers have to pay tax as any other vegetable on this fruit. This fruit contains the fruit seeds and is located as an ovary at the base of flowers.


4. Olives

A common ingredient in the cooking of Eastern Mediterranean, olive does not actually belong to the vegetable family but fruits. This fruit is formed from the olive flower’s ovary and has tiny seeds within them. Being present in the reproductive part and containing the seeds, olives are essentially fruits that are mistaken as vegetables by many olive suppliers and even a majority of olive producers.


5. Cucumber

As part of the cucurbit family, same as pumpkin, cucumbers, commonly used in salads and pickles, are also a type of fruit. Developing from the flower of the cucumber plant and containing all the seeds for reproduction, cucumber is the fruit of the plant but sold as a vegetable by top cucumber suppliers in the market.


6. Peas

While technically speaking, peas are seeds but the pea pods that we purchase from the peas suppliers are actually fruits. These green pods are called Pisum sativum and are the fruits of the pea plants, containing their reproductive seeds.


7. Eggplant

An eggplant or aubergines are embedded with hundreds of tiny seeds within the white pulp. The presence of seeds in it concludes that these are also fruits of the plant and not any vegetable. In fact, scientifically speaking, eggplants belong to the berries family.


8. Avocados

An exotic variety in India but a popular ingredient in dishes of other countries, avocado is also classified as a fruit and not a vegetable. Originating in Central America, avocados owe their belonging to the laurel family and are classified single-seeded berries.


9. Green Beans

The green beans that we so deliciously eat in vegetables or in salads or in chicken sides are actually fruits and not vegetables. While many green bean suppliers still consider the green beans as vegetables and sell it in the same name, in reality, these are a part of the flower of the bean plant and thus classify as fruits.

Green Beans

10. Zucchini

Another addition to the list of vegetables that are actually fruits is zucchini. As a member of the gourd family, zucchini is also classified as a type of berry. This is very similar to cucumbers and pumpkins as they also have their reproducing seeds within.


These are some of the fruits that are commonly mistaken as vegetables. We all have been buying these as vegetables from the vegetable suppliers near our markets when in reality, these are just fruits. Apart from the ones listed above, sweet corn, lady fingers, string beans, squash, etc., are also some of the fruits that we take as vegetables. Hope from next, you will able to differentiate between fruits and vegetables without a second thought.

Domain: Business
Category: Social Innovation
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