Is Strawberry a Fruit Or A Vegetable? A Detailed Guide

Is strawberry a fruit or a vegetable? Most people think of strawberries as fruit and rightly so. Strawberries are a fruit but don’t meet the true definition of fruit either. They are delicious and quite common but have much more than meets the eye.

People around the globe use strawberries in many creative ways. They are a common ingredient for desserts. You can also make strawberry shakes or add them to salads or favorite recipes such as vinaigrettes. While using them to make your treats even sweeter, you must also be wondering is strawberry a fruit or a berry, or a vegetable.

We are going to explain everything about your favorite “berry” and clear this confusion once and for all.

Is Strawberry Fruit or Vegetable?

Strawberries fall in the category of fruit. But – they are quite different from other fruits you eat every day. The only part of the strawberry that is botanical fruit is the tiny green seeds on the red flesh. The flesh itself is the swollen center of the strawberry flower. Strawberries develop and ripen very differently from ‘true’ fruits.

What Type of Fruit is a Strawberry?

Strawberries are fruits but only just. It is quite weird and therefore, we need to go into technicalities. You can categorize strawberries in their own way. For example, a strawberry is mostly just a seed container.

It means the red flashy part of the fruit is actually containing the “seeds” commonly known as an achene. These achenes are actually the fruit instead of the red flesh. The flesh is just like a branch or vine from where fruits hang.

You have wasted your whole childhood and youth if you have been considering the whole strawberry as a fruit. But – you cannot argue with science and botany can get quite weird sometimes.

What are Vegetables?

The simplest definition of vegetables states that any part of a plant that humans and animals can eat. However, this is a very broad definition and encompasses everything from a plant’s roots to its stem, flowers, leaves, etc.

We also need to see what fruits are to make things more clear. According to science, fruits develop from a flower of a tree or plant. They must also have seeds (seeds may be edible or inedible) to be considered as a fruit.

Read also: 25 Halloween Food Party Ideas For Adults

Is Strawberry a Fruit then? Yes, it is very close to fruit. Its seeds are inside the green pods or achenes you see on the red flesh. The seeds help to produce the next generation of strawberries. Therefore, achenes are the only part of the strawberries which you can call a fruit.

Is Strawberry a Berry?

What are berries? They are fleshy fruits with plenty of seeds inside. Common examples of berries are grapes, lemons, tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers, and gourds. The last three fruits belong to pepos, a special category of berries.

Oranges, limes, lemons, and other citrus fruits fall into another category known as hesperidium.

Finding that all the above fruits are berries must be shocking for you. What is even more shocking is that fruits like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are not berries at all. Since these fruits contain a lot of small fruits, they are called aggregate fruits.

Watermelon or lemon looks like one complete fruit. Strawberries or raspberries look like a small bunch of grapes or vine with a lot of grapes. Blueberries and cranberries, on the other hand, are true botanical berries because they have only one seed.

Is Strawberry a Nut?

Strawberries consist of a lot of smaller fruits (achenes) making them aggregate fruit. The red flesh is only the swollen part of the flower. The achenes or green spots are actually the fruit and you can consider them as nuts as well.

Strawberries are classified as berries because of their similarity with other berries. However, it is an aggregate food and the green spot is actually nuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are nuts fruits?

While Brazil nuts and apples look completely different from each other, both of them are technically fruits. Nuts are dry fruits with high levels of oil or fat. They come with a hard outer shell or husk o protect seeds.

Just like some fruits which are vegetables, many famous “nuts” are not nuts. For example, peanuts are legumes, not nuts because they grow underground. Similarly, pecans, almonds, cashews, and walnuts are technically drupes.

The ‘true’ nuts are fewer in number than you think. Brazil nuts, acorns, hazelnuts, and acorns are true nuts while all others are categorized as drupes.

Why are strawberries not a vegetable?

Strawberries are not a vegetable because the strawberry receptacle also holds the plant’s ovaries besides being a part of the stem. Vegetables don’t include the part of the plant’s reproductive system and only include its stem, stalks, leaves, etc.

What classification is a strawberry?

Different types of garden strawberries are grown worldwide. They are a hybrid species of the genus Fragaria. They are known for their sweetness, juicy texture, bright red color, and distinguishing smell.

What food group are strawberries in?

Strawberries are aggregate fruit because they have plenty of small fruits known as an achene. Achenes develop from other parts of the plant not from the ovaries and therefore, strawberries are technically an accessory fruit. They are also not true berries because they obtain a considerable amount of tissue from the receptacle.

How healthy are strawberries?

Strawberry is an extremely healthy fruit. It is an excellent antioxidant thanks to very high levels of polyphenol. Strawberry is also rich in fiber, vitamins, potassium, and manganese. It is a low-calorie food and free of fats, cholesterol, and sodium as well.

Final Thoughts

So, is strawberry a fruit or a vegetable? Strawberries fall in the category of aggregate fruits. Technically, they are also not berries but are classified as nuts. However, you should not bother with finding whether it is a fruit or a vegetable. Just enjoy eating this delicious and highly nutritional delicacy and leave the classifications to the scientists.

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