The difference between fruits and vegetables
By Albert Mondor, horticulturist and biologist
From a culinary or gastronomic point of view, fruits are generally associated to sweet dishes such as desserts, while we tend to associate vegetables to salty dishes. However, from a botanical standpoint, vegetables can sometimes be fruits, flower buds, roots and even leaves. Here are a few examples:
- Although they're considered vegetables in the kitchen, botanically speaking, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are fruits, as they come from pollinated flowers.
- The edible parts of vegetables such as broccolis, cauliflowers and artichokes are in fact flower buds, that is, inflorescences that haven't opened yet.
- For their part, potatoes and carrots are root vegetables as they are fleshy roots filled with nutrients such as starch.
- Finally, lettuce, spinach and kale are leafy greens.
Blueberries, strawberries, apples and plums are fruits from both a culinary and botanical point of view.