FOOD & DRINK
10/18/2016 06:00 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2017

Turns Out Pumpkins Are Actually A Fruit, And Humans Know Nothing

It is not, never has been and never will be a vegetable.

Come fall, pumpkins take over the landscape. They’re piled high at supermarkets and strategically placed on front porches. They’re baked into pies and pureed into soups. But unbeknownst to most of us, our beloved gourd is not being treated as it deserves. It’s a wrong that needs to be righted ― and we’re not the only ones who feel this way.

Once and for all, people need to stop thinking of pumpkins as vegetables. If you think the pumpkin is your favorite fall vegetable, you should know that is absolutely impossible, because pumpkins are in fact a fruit. That’s right, a fruit ― just like an apple, orange or pear. It’s even the official state fruit of New Hampshire, that’s how much of a fruit it really is.

A fruit is the part of the plant that develops from the flower, just like a pumpkin does. Look here:

John Kaprielian via Getty Images

This is the flower from a pumpkin plant, and that little green nub at the base of the flower is what will eventually grow into a big, round pumpkin.

You know what really gives the pumpkin’s fruitiness away, though? The seeds that we scoop out of its cavity. Botanists define a fruit as the section of a plant that contains the seeds. This is regardless of how savory we make said seed taste when we roast them with salt and herbs.

We’re going to take this even one step further and inform you that the pumpkin is more accurately classified as a berry. A berry is defined as the fleshy fruit produced from one singly ovary. So, there.

We know this is a lot to accept. Just take a few deep breaths and sip from your pumpkin spice latte because we’re about to break down a few other vegetables that are actually FRUITS:

  • Avocado
    It might be green, but it's got a big ol' seed in the middle there.
    Patrick Llewelyn-Davies via Getty Images
    It might be green, but it's got a big ol' seed in the middle there.
  • Cucumber
    See all those seeds?
    sommail via Getty Images
    See all those seeds?
  • Olives
    The fact that they come pitted says it all.
    Thomas Barwick via Getty Images
    The fact that they come pitted says it all.
  • Peapods
    In case you didn't know, the peas we eat are also the seeds.
    Martin Barraud via Getty Images
    In case you didn't know, the peas we eat are also the seeds.
  • Tomatoes
    Yep, a fruit, too.
    Pepe Nilsson via Getty Images
    Yep, a fruit, too.
  • Zucchini
    These guys are basically the summer version of pumpkins. 
    john shepherd via Getty Images
    These guys are basically the summer version of pumpkins. 
  • Peppers
    Didn't you ever wonder why they tasted so sweet?
    Purestock via Getty Images
    Didn't you ever wonder why they tasted so sweet?

Did you just realize all you favorite vegetables are actually fruit? Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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