Fruits are the ripened ovaries of plants. A flower blooms, is fertilized and seeds produced inside the ovary. The tissue surrounding the ovary is called a pericarp and may be edible as is the case with apples or hard and dry as is the case with nuts. A simple fruit means one flower produces one ovary which results in one fruit. Succulent fruits have edible flesh surrounding the seeds or in the case of stone fruits the pit. Dry fruits do not. For example, an apple is a simple succulent fruit. Beans and peas are simple dry fruits. Raspberries have one flower leading to multiple ovaries. They are aggregate fruits. Multiple fruits are the result of flowers that have fused. Pineapples are an example of multiple fruits.
Drupes have an edible part, usually the fleshy interior and an inedible part, the hard covering of the seed. This is sometimes called a pit or stone. Cut open the peach and you'll find the pit. Break the pit open by slipping a knife between the two halves and you'll find the seed. Other examples of simple succulent drupe fruits are mangos, cherries, plums and olives. Most drupe fruits are sweet and used fresh, frozen or canned. However, olives are processed before preserving. Green olives are olives that haven't ripened yet. Black olives are ripe olives.
Pomes have small seeds in the interior of the fruit. The seeds are surrounded by the pericarp. When you cut an apple in half you can see the membrane that surrounds the core with the seeds. Apples and pears are examples of simple succulent pome fruits. Apples are eaten fresh, processed, frozen and a major source of juice.
Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are considered hesperidium fruits. A leather-like skin encloses the edible flesh and seeds. Citrus fruits are mostly little sacks of juice rather than a firm flesh like an apple.
It might surprise you to know that not only is a tomato a fruit, it's classified as a berry. a berry is a pulpy fruit. All of it is edible. Tomatoes come in other colors besides red, including pink, yellow, orange, ivory, chocolate and green when ripe. Size ranges from tiny grape-sized fruits to giants weighing several pounds. Other berries include blueberries, grapes and elderberries, currants and gooseberries.
Fruits Classified as Vegetables
Many of what cooks classify as vegetables are actually fruits. Simple succulent vegetables include cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkins. The hard casing, or skin, surrounding the flesh is the pericarp.
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