Quick Answer: Is Strawberry a Vegetable or Fruit? A strawberry is in fact a fruit, however, it isn’t the red flesh itself that is considered to be the fruit. It is the seeds that you find on the strawberry that is the fruit, and the fleshy part is the middle part of the flower that is overgrown. This means that it is also not a part of the berry family.
In this quick guide we shall take a look at the hidden truth behind the strawberry: is it a vegetable or a fruit?
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Is A Strawberry Classed As A Fruit Or A Vegetable?
If you are a lover of strawberries, you might be wondering if it is either a vegetable or a fruit.
Whilst you are more likely to consider the delicious food item a fruit, you might be surprised to know that there is more to this fleshy red delight than meets the eye.
So, is a strawberry a fruit or a vegetable? It is, in fact, a fruit. In commercial times, and what we know to be an accepted notion, is that the whole of the strawberry is a fruit.
However, scientifically, this isn’t actually true. Whilst the strawberry has a fruity connection, there is only one part of it that makes it an actual fruit.
Not only that, strawberries have a different way that they develop over time and become ripe compared to other fruits.
So, what is classed as the fruit when it comes to a strawberry? It is actually the tiny seeds that cover the fleshy red colored part.
They are classed as the real botanical fruit, whilst the fleshy part is actually the flower of the strawberry.
We know, it sounds mad, but keep on reading to find out more about this wonderful fruit.
Also, just to be clear, a strawberry also isn’t a type of berry. Whilst they have the word ‘berry’ at the end of their name, and are a red color, they are not apart of the berry family.
So What Specifics Make A Strawberry A Fruit?
Now that your mind has been blown with some snazzy strawberry facts, let’s get down to the details about what makes up a strawberry to make it what it is.
We are in the same boat – we have always thought a strawberry is just a fruit, but there is a lot more to it than that.
They are classed as a fruit, but only just make it into the fruit club.
This is because they belong by themselves, and only just become a fruit scientifically due to their seeds.
Some people say that the fleshy red part is a receptacle that holds the seeds.
This means that the seeds themselves are the actual fruit, and the red flesh is just an overgrown area that in real terms sits in the middle of the flower. The green area of the strawberry is called an achene.
So, what you are essentially seeing is the red bit that we associate with being a strawberry is actually the overgrown middle part of the flower, which has the whole purpose of holding onto the fruit (the seeds).
Fascinating stuff, right? Let’s read about strawberries some more!
Why Isn’t A Strawberry A Vegetable?
A strawberry isn’t classed as a vegetable because of where it comes from.
To be a vegetable you would need to be growing from the root or stem of a plant, or you can be its flowers, or its leaves.
A fruit on the other hand has seeds. It doesn’t matter if you can eat them or not, in order for something to be called a fruit it should have seeds within it or on it.
Also, fruit is usually grown from some form of tree or plant.
So, whilst a vegetable doesn’t have seeds and a fruit does, sometimes science can change the way we look at things grown from nature, however, when it comes to seeds, this is something we can all agree on!
Where Do Strawberries Come From?
Many, many years ago, strawberries were actually smaller and were found within forests.
Many people foraged strawberries due to their sweet flavor. Over time, there have been slight changes made to create the strawberry that we see today.
Two of the more common varieties of strawberries which make up today’s batches are the chilean Fragaria Chilioensis, and the North American Fragaria Virginiana. In 1750 they were used to create what we know today.
Strawberries are considered to be a man made fruit because they are different to what they naturally are.
However, as a consumer we wouldn’t know anything different.
What Would Make The Fleshy Part Of A Strawberry A Fruit?
If the strawberry had no seeds, it wouldn’t be considered a fruit at all. The red flesh that we see holds these seeds in place, and if buried into the ground, they may produce a strawberry plant.
Unlike other plants, strawberries are kind of the wrong way round.
We normally see the seeds inside, such as in an apple or an orange. Instead, the fleshy red area is just an overgrown bit of the flower – however, it is very juicy and tasty!
When a strawberry is attached to the plant, they act a little like how an orange may be on a tree, waiting to be picked, with the fleshy part acting as said tree.
If the whole strawberry was to be considered a fruit, it would need to have the seeds on the inside.
Though technically the fleshy area is seen as a branch, so it still wouldn’t quite make sense scientifically.
What is really cool though, is if you cut open the seed of a strawberry and then viewed them with a microscope, you would be able to see that they actually do have a seed within them.
What Is The Process Of A Strawberry?
Just like any other fruit plant, it begins as a flower before it matures into a fully formed fruit.
A strawberry begins by forming white petals that hold a center the color of yellow.
This is called the perianth and will be the part which holds the seeds.
Once the strawberry starts to grow, the fleshier part begins to swell up which brings all the seeds up.
When you cut open a strawberry, you will be able to see faint white lines. These were originally from the white petals to hold the seeds.
As it ripens, this is when the fleshy part of the strawberry finally turns to red.
Once it is all fully red, this is when they need to be removed if they are to be eaten. Any white still left on the flesh means that they were removed too soon.
So, just remember that the next time you eat a strawberry, what you are actually eating is the branch that is basically holding the strawberry fruit (seeds) in place, and that it is a part of the flower that you are consuming also.
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