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.
(Image Courtesy: Diffen)
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.
(Image Courtesy: The Spruce)
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.
(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)