View Full Version : kosher pickle a vegetable?
03-18-2004, 10:34 AM
Mr. Cecil, i was just wondering about your comment in your kosher pickle column. (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_351.html) you stated that pickles were basically vegetables. cucumbers are technically fruits even though the common misconception places them in on the dietary tables under vegetables along with tomatos, peppers, etc. Pickles (the good ones) are obviously just brined cucumbers. would you be able to clarify your statement?
very amusing article
03-18-2004, 11:11 AM
You are confusing botany with cookery. Bad idea. In botany, VEGETABLES DO NOT EXIST.
Let me say that again, in hope that it will sink in: In botany, there is no such thing as a "vegetable". It simply doesn't exist. Pick out any number of solid plant anatomy texts. You will find chapters on fruits, but you will not find chapters on "vegetables". There is no such thing as a "vegetable" as far as botanical science is concerned. On the other hand, fruits do exist in botany.
"Vegetable" is a purely culinary (and by extension, commercial and tax) category. In essence, it refers NOT to what part of the plant something "is" in the botanical sense but entirely and specifically to how that part is EATEN and used. Is it normally served savry or for its savory characteristics? Then it is a vegetable. Is it normally served sweetened or for its sweet characteristics? Then it is a fruit.
John W. Kennedy
03-18-2004, 04:37 PM
And this whole discussion is pointless, because in Cecil's column, he is using the word "vegetable" to mean "not animal or mineral".
C K Dexter Haven
03-18-2004, 09:09 PM
Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, lexdysix, glad to have you with us.
When you start a thread, it is helpful to others if you provide a link to the column that you're commenting on. Saves searching time, helps keep everyone on the same page, etc. Yes, the kosher pickle column is on the Home Page today, but in a few days time it will vanish into the abyss. So, providing the link is very helpful to other readers. No big deal, you'll know for next time, and I've edited your post to provide that link.
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