Monday, October 24, 2011

One potato, two potato, three potato, four...

Quick. Name the first 10 vegetables that come to mind. If you answered: potato, corn, beetroot, carrots, chard, lettuce, carrots, onion, broccoli, peas, beans, cauliflower, then congratulations, you have not been so severely mislead as I have. Or you are a botanist.

You see, since I've arrived in Russia (just a time marker, really), I have slowly been learning that many things I once regarded as vegetables are simply not so. Eggplant? Fruit. Cucumbers? Fruit. Peppers? Fruit. Okra? Fruit. Zucchini? Fruit (technically, the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower)


While it's less surprising to hear that tomatoes are a fruit, a 1893 Supreme Court case unanimously ruled the tomato is a vegetable. For taxation purposes only, as they recognized that tomatoes are botanically a fruit, thus furthering the belief that anything can be a vegetable if you want to tax it badly enough.


As if the shattering of my lifelong vegetable paradigm wasn't enough, I've also been surprised to learn that many things I once believed to be simple fruits (and occasionally vegetables) are actually berries. Eggplant? Berry. Though “eggberry” is a decidedly less appetizing name. Watermelon? Berry. Tomato? Berry. Pumpkin? Berry. Banana?!?!?! BERRY.

et tu??!

In summary:



  1. hahaha I got into a HUGE argument with the kids at summer camp in Russia over whether or not a tomato was, indeed, a fruit or vegetable. Finally I realized I was never going to win with a bunch of know-it-all kids so I just abandoned my argument.