There can be a lot of confusion over what’s considered a fruit and what’s considered a vegetable.
With some foods, it’s simple. An apple is obviously a fruit and broccoli is clearly a vegetable.
But with other foods, the distinction gets murkier. Tomatoes, for instance, are a fruit, but they’re used in cooking more like a vegetable.
Eggplant is similarly confusing. A little research will show you that this violet vegetable-like plant is actually a fruit. But why is eggplant considered a fruit?
That depends on what perspective you’re looking at, and there are two: culinary or scientific. We’ll teach you about both of them in this post.
Quick Answer: Why is Eggplant Considered a Fruit?
The answer to this question depends on what lens you’re looking at eggplant through. From a culinary standpoint, it’s seen as a vegetable because it’s used in savory dishes.
Comparatively, the scientific perspective classifies eggplant as a fruit. This has to do with the fact it’s a seed-bearing structure.
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What Makes a Plant a Fruit or a Vegetable (Scientifically)
What exactly is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, according to science?
The classification comes from the seeds. Fruits must result from a flower being pollinated and must contain seeds. Some examples of seed-filled growths immediately come to mind, such as apples and bananas.
Vegetable, on the other hand, describes pretty much everything that doesn’t fall into the above category. That means all things like leaves and roots are considered veggies through the scientific lens.
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The Culinary Perspective
In the kitchen, chefs may define what is a fruit and what is a vegetable quite differently. From the culinary perspective, the difference has to do with the taste and uses for the food rather than its seeds.
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For instance, eggplants and tomatoes are considered vegetables in the culinary arena, despite being botanically categorized as fruits. That’s because they’re used in savory recipes instead of sweet ones.
Fruits are considered those foods which you could use in a dessert or a sweet dish, which includes things like apples.
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You might be surprised to learn that many of things you think are vegetables are actually fruits and vice versa…if you’re looking at them purely from a scientific point of view.
However, like with all things in life, foods aren’t always a clearly black and white situation. There are shades of gray in between the fruit and vegetable categories, especially when you factor in culinary classifications.
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No matter what you consider an eggplant, though, the bottom line is that they’re a delectable plant that can be used in an amazing variety of recipes.
Interested in trying eggplant for the first time? You can learn more about what it tastes like here.