Fruit or Vegetable?


Botanically, this is...
A Pepo! (A type of fruit)
Culinarily, this is...

Pumpkins are admittedly closer than most. They are botanically a type of berry called a “pepo” due to their seed-bearing fleshiness and hard outer rinds. Their culinary classification requires a bit more discussion however.

Pumpkins satisfy many of the requirements of being a culinary fruit. They are colorful, kind of sweet, and they are made into pies. When was the last time you had pumpkin outside of dessert? I don’t remember ever having it in another way.

Yet, uh, it is a vegetable—no doubt about it. This kind of makes sense as other squashes are eaten more normally as vegetables. Also, many people do eat pumpkins in savory dishes. I assume non-pie uses were more common in the past when its categorization was set as well. In addition, it is basically never eaten raw, which is much more befitting of a vegetable than a fruit.

How can something be both a fruit and a vegetable?