Is Corn a Vegetable or Fruit?

4,956 Views Updated: 04 Dec 2018
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Is Corn a Vegetable or Fruit?

According to the culinary usage along with the botanical definition and the cultivation process, the category of corn being a fruit, vegetable, or a grain keeps changing. 

The dispute is a never ending one. And here is what you need to know about what defines a fruit or a vegetable. And is corn a vegetable or fruit or entirely something else.

What Defines A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

Vegetable basically is defined as the plant that is cultivated for consuming its edible parts such as stems, root, seeds or leaves. This way every cereal grain is considered to be a vegetable.

Fruits are essentially the sweet and fleshy produces obtained from a plant or a tree. They contain seeds either outside or on the inside. So, fruits are primarily the seed bearing structures of plants/ trees.

Therefore, if you have questions like "is corn a vegetable or fruit or grain," "is corn a vegetable or starch" or "is sweet corn a vegetable," then here is the answer. Corn actually is everything - grain, vegetable, and a fruit. This is how:

(Image Courtesy: Jog Agyog)

Corn seeds are a vegetable as they are harvested for being consumed. It is also a grain as the dry seed is amongst the grass family. And it is even a fruit because that is what even the botanical definition says.

Therefore, corn is considered to be a fruit as per the botanical classification, but it is consumed like a vegetable. Corn kernels are seeds when dry which technically makes it a fruit where the corn cob acts like an ovary. However, prior to this stage, corn is in its milky form which is a non-edible thing. But certain types of corn like Zea mays have a grass family as their ancestor which makes corn a grain.

Image result for Corn seeds

(Image Courtesy: School for Chiapas)

Corn is really a tricky thing. But depending on what part you are eating, the definition and its cultivation process, the category tends to change. 

Liked what you just read? Want to read more such informational stuff? Let us know through the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!

(Featured Image Courtesy: Paleoaholic)

Opinions (3)

great article on corn


I think it`s vegetable


Corn can be a vegetable if by convention it is grouped in the vegetable food group. Like sweet corn can. But it can also be grouped as a grain.

It's a grass, belonging to the monocotyledon family of gramineae

Yes, You Are Right.

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