If you’re ever discussing whether eggplant is a fruit or vegetable, take the side of the eggplant. It’s part of the nightshade family of vegetables.
While some people say that eggplant is a fruit because it captures the essence of its flowers and comes from the ovary of a flower. Others say that it’s not because it had seeds, and it’s classified as a berry by botanists. Either way, there are numerous ways you can use this versatile vegetable.
What is a fruit?
A fruit is the ripened ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant. In other words, fruit contains seeds.
Fruits are the sweet foods that we often eat as desserts. They can be eaten raw or cooked into pies and other desserts. Some fruits are also used to make juices, jams, and jellies.
The most common fruits are apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, cherries, grapes, and pineapples. But there are more than 4,000 different kinds of fruits in the world!
What is a vegetable?
Vegetables are the edible plants or parts of plants consumed by humans as food. Some vegetables are consumed both raw and cooked in various ways (Can you eat eggplant raw?), often reduced to a puree, liquid, or even a paste.
Vegetables that may be ground into a paste include garlic, ginger, and onion. Such as broccoli and cauliflower are eaten both raw and cooked in many cultures. Vegetables are distinct from fruits because they have seeds, stems, roots, and leaves.
Some of the most common vegetables include tomatoes (the fruit), onion, carrot, celery, sweet potato, and green beans. We can also mention cucumber, beetroot, bell peppers, spinach, and lettuce.
Is Eggplant a Fruit?
Should eggplant be considered a fruit or a vegetable? Most people would say it’s a vegetable. I think it’s safe to assume that you could go either way with this one and not get in trouble. It’s not like eggplant is a rare fruit or some exotic fruit that only grows in the deserts of the Middle East.
Technically speaking, though, eggplant isn’t a fruit at all. Botanists classify it as a berry because it comes from a flower’s ovary and has seeds. It is part of the nightshade family of vegetables, including tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and tobacco. So it’s safe to say that eggplant is a fruit if you want to say it is.
On the other hand, if you need to have every bit of your food defined by science before eating it and feeling good about yourself, you might want to stick with calling eggplant a vegetable.
In America, eggplants are considered fruit.
In America, eggplants are considered fruit. However, in most other countries worldwide, they are considered a vegetable.
So, let’s go over some of the facts that make eggplants a fruit:
- They Are A Member Of The Solanaceae Family
- Eggplants Have Seeds And Produce Fruit
- They Have An Inner Flesh That Is Considered Edible
- They Have A Larger Amount Of Vitamin C Than Most Other Vegetables
- Eggplant Taste Like A Fruit
- Their Skin Is Considered Edible And Is Usually Not Eaten
How to grow eggplant in your garden
Growing eggplant can take anywhere from 45 to 80 days from seed to harvest, depending on the variety, growing conditions, and weather conditions. Elegant types require more time than the common purple-skinned ones.
Let your plants grow outside for a week for hardening off before transplanting them into the garden in late spring or early summer. Eggplants are not frosted tolerant, so you must wait for all danger of frost to pass before starting your seedlings indoors.
Tips for growing eggplant
- Sunlight: Eggplants love full sun, but they can also tolerate partial shade.
- When it’s time to harvest an eggplant, you’ll know when the skin loses its sheen and becomes dull.
- Soil: Eggplants love well-draining soil with a pH range between 5.5 and 7.0.
- Water: Eggplants are thirsty plants, and they should be watered regularly if they are not getting enough rain. Dig a hole before planting to make sure the water drains properly. Avoid overhead watering as this can cause diseases like mildew and fungus on the leaves.
- Fertilizer: Eggplants need a balanced fertilizer, rich in nitrogen, to grow their best. Fertilize them once a month during the summer and every two weeks in the winter.
- Pests: Aphids and snails are common pests that will cause damage to your eggplant plants without proper control. You can use Mosquito Dunks or diatomaceous earth to control these pests.
Final Words: Is Eggplant a Fruit?
The more likely answer is no, but it depends on who you ask. Technically and botanically speaking, eggplant is a fruit; however, it is classified and marketed as a vegetable. The confusion stems from the taxonomy of the plant itself. It comes from the same family as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, usually considered vegetables.