Is Cucumber a Fruit or Vegetable?

4,741 Views Updated: 03 May 2018
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Is Cucumber a Fruit or Vegetable?

Cucumbers are a wonderful thing. They are a great source to stay hydrated in hot weather, and you won’t gain weight as they largely contain water.

However, the major question that has surrounded the wonder what cucumber is if it is a fruit or a vegetable?

What if we told you that cucumber is both a fruit and a vegetable? Surprised? Yes, cucumber fits the bill of being both of them, and it really depends on who you ask this question to. However, to understand this completely, we need to understand the basic difference between a fruit and a vegetable. So, let’s see that first:

Fruits vs. Vegetables

Botanically speaking, fruits are the parts of a plant that stem from its flowers. Fruits have seeds as well. On the other hand, vegetables are considered to be the other part of a plant that doesn’t develop from its flowers. If we go by this definition, cucumbers are fruits as they develop from pollinated flowers and also contain seeds of the flower. However, in a culinary sense, they are termed as vegetables. Now, let’s understand that distinction.

cucumber

(Image Courtesy: Diffen)

Cucumber As A Fruit

Technically, cucumber is a fruit. If you were to grow cucumbers in your garden, you'd be growing a plant that produces flowers. Cucumbers later stem from these flowers. Going by the botanical definition, cucumber can be called a fruit in the garden. But, why do things change when cucumbers are brought over to the kitchen, where they are considered as vegetables? Let’s find out.

is cucumber fruit

(Image Courtesy: The Spruce)

Cucumber As A Vegetable

Any chef will tell you that a cucumber is a vegetable. It is because of the culinary uses of it. Cucumbers, largely because of their taste, are termed as vegetables based on their use in cuisines around the world. It would be right to call it a vegetable fruit. In fact, United States’ Supreme Court taxes cucumbers as vegetables when they’re imported.

cucumber fruit or vegetable

(Image Courtesy: NYT Cooking)

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So, there you have it. While cucumbers are fruits in the garden, they’re vegetables in the kitchen. If you found this information useful, let us know in the comments below.

(Featured image Courtesy: Care2)

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Answers (3)

cucumber is a fruit in the garden​

If you were to grow cucumbers in the garden, you'd be growing a plant that produces fruits. As National Geographic puts it, a fruit is what develops when a flower is fertilized. Fruits contain the seeds of the plant.

Take a close look at the cucumbers you're growing in your garden. If things are going well, the plant is most likely producing flowers. Some of those flowers have what looks like a baby cucumber at their base. Others are simply petals.

Female flowers have the mini cucumber at their base. It's the ovary that ultimately develops into a full fledged cucumber. For the full grown cucumber to develop, pollen from the male flower needs to make its way to female flower.

Yes, This question is common one. The fruits and vegetables both have minerals and healthy vitamins. Cucumber is a vegetable under botanical information.

It is interesting to know that cucumber is a fruit as well as a vegetable. It is consumed raw as part of salads and are also made into mouth - watering recipes. Cucumbers are a great source of water and keeps you hydrated during the water sucking summers. Intake of cucumbers in any which way is beneficial for our health and skin as well.

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