Have you ever wondered the vegetables and fruits we eat have some amazing and fun facts. So lets go through the beautiful journey to learn interesting things about them. Please note that all the picture credits go to shutterstock.com
1. Bell Peppers are fruits.
a. Surprised? Scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. So that means bell peppers along with squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins are fruits.
b. Bell peppers also known as sweet peppers are native to Mexico , Central and South American region .
c. They come in a variety of colors including yellow, green, orange, red, purple, white black etc. Interesting enough there are peppers of the colors brown, white and black! The green ones are the most common in groceries and supermarkets.
d. Peppers were named by Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers who were searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper.
e. The green peppers you purchase in the food market may actually be immature, non-ripe versions of the other color varieties. Interesting fact, however, neither all bell peppers start off green nor do green bell peppers always mature into other colors.
a. A true berry is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary. The ovary is the female part of a flower. That means grapes, kiwis, and even bananas are berries.
b. Banana plants are not trees, they are a type of herb.
c. Fibre taken from banana plants can be used to make clothes.
d. Bananas can be found in many colours such as red, brown, purple, green or the most commonly found, yellow.
e. A row of bananas is called a hand and a single banana is called a finger.
f. There is a museum solely based around bananas called the Bananas Club Museum in Palm Springs, CA.
a. It’s name is derived from the Italian word broccolo, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage.
b. And the leaves, which most people throw out, have some nutrients not found in either the stem or the florets.
c. Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.
d. If you’re trying to cut your cholesterol, steam your broccoli that helps it lower your levels more. Raw broccoli has cancer-fighting compounds, though. In a part-by-part breakdown, the florets have a few more nutrients than the stalks.
a. Avocados have seeds, so that makes them fruits.
b. It takes 14-18 months to grow a single California Avocado.
c. Did you know that avocados mature on the tree, but they only ripen once they are off the tree? Even more amazing is the fact that avocados can stay on a tree for as long as 18 months. It’s as if the tree preserves them until you’re ready to use them.
d. They have a lot of fat, but it’s the good kind that lowers cholesterol. The creamy fruit also helps your body absorb nutrients in other produce, like tomatoes. So toss some diced tomatoes into your next batch of guacamole.
We need potassium to help strengthen our muscles and control our blood pressure. Bananas are high in it, but they aren’t the best source. Why not try a spud instead? Potatoes have more potassium. They don’t have any fat and are a good source of vitamins and iron, too.
6. Tomatoes Are Fruits and Veggies.
a. Tomatoes are fruits. But, according to law, they’re vegetables.
b. Here’s the juicy backstory: In the 1800s, New York’s port taxed veggies, but not fruits. An importer wanting to cut costs went to court saying his tomatoes were fruits. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that, in “common language,” produce often served with meats or fish is a vegetable. So, the man had to pay tomato tax.
c. Pretty much all tomato varieties are red although other colors are possible including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple.
d. There are more than 7500 tomato varieties grown around the world.
e. The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
7. Figs Match Milk in Calcium.
a. Figs may not look like it, but figs are a member of the mulberry family.
b. Fig trees do not flower, the ‘fruit’ that we eat is the blossom and is pollinated by a special type of wasp.
c. Figs are self-fruitful, so you need only one plant to produce fruit. Mature fig trees can be 4.5 to 9 meters (15 to 30 feet) tall.
d. Figs are known as the “Fruit of the Gods”.
e. Turkey tops world production, followed by Egypt, Iran, Greece, Algeria and Morocco.
f. Trying to get more calcium? Instead of pouring another glass of milk, you could reach for the fruit bowl. Figs are high in calcium. A cup of dried ones has as much calcium as the same amount of milk. And unlike the cool drink, figs are also a great source of fiber. But don’t overdo it. They pack a lot of sugar and calories.
g. Buddha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree, a large and old sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa, or Pipal).
8. Blackberries Aren’t Really Berries.
a. In the plant world, blackberries, raspberries, and even strawberries aren’t berries at all, but clumps of tiny individual fruits that grew together. Though they taste sweet.
b. There are 2000 varieties if blackberries found throughout the cooler regions of the world.
9. Kiwis Beat Oranges in Vitamin C.
a. Kiwi Fruit Casanovas. Male kiwi plants can pollinate up to eight female vines.
b. Chinese History Lesson. The kiwifruit originated from China and was originally called the ‘Chinese Gooseberry’. The name was later changed due to the name being negatively associated with the Cold War.
c. They have twice the vitamin C of an orange, and they’re another high-potassium, low-salt alternative to bananas. They’re packed with other vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy nutrients, too.
10. Apples Are Cousins of Roses.
a. The science of apple growing is called Pomology.
b. Most apple blossoms are pink when they open, but gradually transition to white.
c. Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. As you take a bite of one, do you notice a sweet smell? Apples, pears, cherries, and plums are just some of the fruits that come from the same family tree as the rose. Try using dried apple slices to make a sweet-smelling potpourri.
d. Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
e. In 1730, the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York.
f. One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
-By Ekta Agrawal, FBAI member