Fruit or Vegetable?


Is a Fig a Fruit or Vegetable?
Botanically, this is...
Culinarily, this is...

Figs are fruits. They’re pretty sweet. I’ve honestly only ever had them in cookies, but that’s pretty indicative of being a fruit culinarily. I think they’re usually eaten raw or in jams otherwise, which is like a fruit.

Botanically, figs are weird. They are fruits, but they are mulitple fruits because they actually start out as many separate flowers, which then create many separate drupes, which then all merge together to create a new single fruit. Even if you have seen a whole fig, you might not have imagined this. That’s because these fruits—as I understand it—grow inside a stem, inwards and towards each other. The whole “fruit” that we pick and eat is actually part of the stem called a syconium which contains this multiple fruit. Because the stem itself is fleshy and part of the “fruit,” figs are also accessory fruits.

Of course, unless you are a botanist, you probably have no more than a passing interest in any of this technical rigor. This demonstrates how botanical definitions are pretty useless for ordinary people. Figs are fruits in general because they’re sweet plant bits.