Avocado: fruit or vegetable?

@thorgrym (677)
United States
January 28, 2009 9:20am CST
OK, so I started a discussion the other day on guacamole. This is something that I used to hate, but now really like. So, I wanted to see what other people thought. During the course of the discussion, I ended up doing some research on the avocado - the primary ingredient in guacamole. http://www.avocado.org Quite the interesting product of nature. So, during my research, some people referred to avocado as a fruit, while others referred to it as a vegetable. What do you think? Fruit or vegetable? Ultimately, it doesn't really matter, I suppose. I think, however, that it is more correctly a fruit than a vegetable. Or, is fruit merely a broader term that actually encompasses vegetables? For instance, when farmers refer to the harvest, they might call it the 'fruits of their labor' but I have never heard it referred to the 'vegetables of their labor.' Interesting...
1 person likes this
3 responses
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
30 Jan 09
It's a little late and my brain cells are not working that well but I'm figuring that if it grows on a tree it has to be a fruit. That's my take on it. Wait, does it grow on a tree? Oy, I need to go sleep. Oh I just reread your last line. You're funny!!! So true though.
@thorgrym (677)
• United States
30 Jan 09
Yup, grows on a tree. That does seem to be a good indicator of whether it is largely considered to be a fruit or a vegetable. I can't think of anything that we consider to be a vegetable that also grows on a tree...though it is possible that something fits that bill. Go, sleep!
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
28 Jan 09
Fruits have the seeds inside of it's self. A lot of the plant foods that we call vegetables really are fruit. Fruit are the reproductive part of the plant and contain the seeds. So green beans and pumpkins really are fruit not vegetables. Now vegetables are the roots, stem, leaves and flowers of the plants. So now about the avocado is definitely a fruit but we here in America like to use it as a vegetable as we do so many fruits that are not sweet. We think of fruits as being sweet such as the peach but Bell peppers are not sweet so we look at them as being vegetables.
@thorgrym (677)
• United States
28 Jan 09
Well, you are partially correct. I sort of gave the clue in the discussion... 'Vegetable' is not a botanical term - it is a culinary term. In Nix v. Hedden, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is classified as a vegetable, even though it fits the description of a fruit. Basically, in botanical terms, a lot of the 'vegetables' that we eat are really the fruit of the plant. Of course, some are the seeds (e.g. peas and corn), some are the leaves (e.g. lettuce and cabbage), and some come from other parts of the plant as well (roots, stems, flowers, etc.). Similar to your statement that we "use it as a vegetable as we do so many fruits that are not so sweet," it seems to me that the things that we consider to be vegetables tend to be lower in sugars and higher in fiber, though that is also open to debate. Ultimately, it is entirely possible for a 'vegetable' to also be a 'fruit' without any contradiction. Thanks for the reply! I think that this is really an unending debate that may never truly be resolved.
@Lindery (854)
• Latvia
28 Jan 09
I think avocado is more a fruit than a vegetable. We are used to eat avocado in salads together with vegetables, but I have heard that avocado is fruit which tastes as vegetables.
@thorgrym (677)
• United States
28 Jan 09
A lot of fruits find themselves mixed with vegetables in salad, so you are not alone in that practice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!