Friday, August 14, 2009

What's A Fruit

You think you know, but you don't. Be prepared to get your mind blown: strawbery is a false fruit, in fact it's not even a true berry. I know, I was shocked too.

A fruit — a ‘true fruit’ — is one where all tissues are derived from the plant ovary and this alone. This includes peas. Whereas strawberries, for example, also include some of the flesh from the peg that holds the ovary, disqualifying them from fruit status. The apple gets its carpels involved as well as the ovary, leading to a kinky pome. ‘True berries’ are also ‘true fruits’, but not the other way round. Grapes, currants (red and black), elder- and gooseberries are all proper upstanding berries which will not deceive you or smuggle themselves into your house in pies before stealing your silver while you sleep.

In fact, the only ‘true’ fruit I can find that’s not a berry but is, kind of, a fruit (more so than peas anyway) is the tomato again. Maybe those cereal box authors did know what they were on about after all.

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