Huffpost Taste

These Everyday Foods Aren't What You Think They Are

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
FRUITS VEGETABLES
Photo by marianna armata via Getty Images

Everyone probably knows that a tomato is really a fruit, but does everybody know how many other foods that we call vegetables are actually fruits? Did you know, for example, that a bell pepper is a fruit?

There are a number of seriously surprising foods that you probably think you think you know a lot about but in reality don't fully understand. The terms we commonly use to classify our food -- namely our fruits, vegetables, berries, grains and nuts -- may be leading you astray.

Of course there's a whole genre of processed foods that have misleading names (ahem, bacon bits, which are made of soy protein, not bacon), but that's a rabbit hole we'd rather not go down today. For the purposes of this post, we're focusing on produce and grains. There are plenty of natural foods that throw us for a loop.

Here are 14 foods that aren't what you think:

  • 1
    A watermelon is a BERRY.
    Wendy Connett via Getty Images
    A berry is "a fleshy fruit that has multiple seeds on the inside, embedded in the flesh of the ovary." So technically speaking, a watermelon is a berry!
  • 2
    An eggplant is also a berry.
    Hiroshi Higuchi via Getty Images
    You read that right. An eggplant is also a berry.
  • 3
    So is a chili pepper.
    stacy vitallo via Getty Images
    Chili peppers = berries = mind blown.
  • 4
    Bananas are berries too.
    Robert George Young via Getty Images
    Whoa.
  • 5
    Strawberries, on the other hand, are NOT berries.
    Lauren Burke via Getty Images
    Stay with us here... A strawberry does not fall under the definition of a berry because it is not produced by a single ovary. It is an "enlarged stem end, or receptacle, in which are partially embedded the many true fruits... popularly called seeds."
  • 6
    Neither are blackberries.
    SAUL LOEB via Getty Images
    Blackberries are not berries. Blackberries are not berries. We keep saying it, but we keep not believing it.
  • 7
    And raspberries aren't berries either.
    lacaosa via Getty Images
    What is the world coming to?
  • 8
    An avocado is a fruit.
    lacaosa via Getty Images
    Ok, we can deal with this one at least. A fruit is "the structure that bears the seeds of a plant." The CRC Dictionary of Agricultural Sciences defines it as "the ripened ovary of a flower together with any accessory parts associated with it."
  • 9
    Bell Peppers are also fruits.
    Hiroshi Higuchi via Getty Images
    Not really into this.
  • 10
    Squash is also a fruit.
    Brian Yarvin via Getty Images
    When does this insanity end?
  • 11
    So are cucumbers.
    Hiroshi Higuchi via Getty Images
    Which mean pickles are...
  • 12
    Corn is a grain.
    Ryouchin via Getty Images
    Sorry, grain-haters.
  • 13
    Quinoa is a seed.
    Alasdair Thomson via Getty Images
    Grain-haters, meet quinoa. It's not the "super-grain" you thought it was. It's a super seed.
  • 14
    Peanuts are not nuts.
    Andrew Bret Wallis via Getty Images
    They are legumes. And you can all go home now.



And to take it one step further, ALL of these things could be considered vegetables. A vegetable is a culinary term -- it is not a scientific term and is somewhat subject.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Also on HuffPost:

Food Lies Your Parents Told You
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction