Fruit or Vegetable?


Photo by Fried Dough
Is a Strawberry a Fruit or Vegetable?
Botanically, this is...
Culinarily, this is...
A Berry! (A type of fruit)

Strawberries are pretty obviously fruits. They’re really sweet, they’re always eaten raw and/or in a dessert, they’re colorful, and they’re botanically fruits.

On that last point, there is some interesting nuance. The big red part of the strawberry you eat is not actually a fruit itself. It’s derived from part of the stem. This makes strawberries accessory fruits. The thing that makes strawberries fruits botanically is that there are many little fruits stuck to this red part. These are what we would usually think of as the “seeds” of a strawberry, but they are really each their own fruit botanically, each an achene. This also makes strawberries aggregate fruits.

Also notably, both of these nuances make strawberries not berries botanically. It’s not close at all. Of course, it still is culinarily. They are one of the largest berries, but they are still eaten raw and with other berries. And obviously, the strawberry has “berry” in its name.