When is a fruit not a fruit?

Over on Yahoo!Answers, the question of tomatoes being fruits or vegetables comes up often. I point out that it’s botanically a fruit but culinarily a vegetable. See, I know that part.

But are there any fruits that aren’t botanically a fruit? rjk and I can only come up with rhubarb and sugar cane, and those really aren’t satisfactory examples for me.

Strawberries? What with the seeds on the outside and all.

The location of the seeds is irrelevant. Strawberries are fruit.

According to wikipedia, they are fruit but they’re not berries!

Isn’t the modern cultivated banana technically a herb because it no longer contains seeds?

The location of the seeds is irrelevant as far as the strawberry being a culinary fruit. However, they are highly relevant as to whether it is botanically a fruit. The flesh of the strawberry is not techically a fruit, the fruits themselves in a botanical sense being the seeds (actually achenes).

In addition, the Cashew Apple, or Marañon is not botanically a fruit, the cashew nut itself being the true fruit.

I wouldn’t say so. It still has the remnants of seeds - those little black things. And I would consider seedless grapes and oranges still fruits.

A banana plant is often billed as “the world’s largest herb”, but that has nothing to do with whether the yellow thing you peel is a fruit or not. A herbacious plant is one that lacks a woody stem. What appears to be the trunk of a banana “tree” isn’t really a trunk at all. It’s composed of tightly rolled leaves, and the plant is really an herb, not a tree.

Haha. FWIW, I happen to [url=“http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=347442&page=2”]agree with you, but good luck on this one.

Lixed fink

Anyway, back to the OP, how about Angelica? - the fleshy stems of a plant in the carrot family that are candied for decorating cakes (more popular in the days before artifical green colouring was invented).

So . . . we’re defining “fruit” as vegetable matter that is used dessertily? as opposed to savourily? (Rhubarb and angelica were what I came in here for, so I’ll have stretch the point to have anything to offer.)

Howbout mint? candied violets? Hmm. Too stretchy I think. Most of the responses are squishy, juicy, fruity. Not angelica though. If mint’s a stretch, then I say angelica’s a stretch. The only response that I’ll second, so far, is rhubarb. Although I do use it as a vegetable myself sometimes. But then I use strawberries and melons and other traditional “fruits” in savory settings as well. You should try my salmon-rhubard ceviche!

Carrots are defined as a fruit (or rather, some kind of carrot preserve is classified as a fruit jame) by some piece of infamous (perhaps actually mythical) Portugese import/export regulation, but that would only be for the purposes of taxes, so I don’t know why I’m even bothering to mention it

Glurk. jame=‘jam’.

the Raisin Tree, Hovenia dulcis is used for the peduncle, which are the stalks of the flowers. The fruit is not edible, but when the peduncles are ready to be harvested, they swell, grows knobby and translucent with a reddish brown color, and takes on a sweet, pear like flavor. They are ready to eat when they fall from their branches.

An unlikely candidate would be Podocarpus macrophyllus, the Plum Yew which has edible arils (fleshy organs which cover the seeds) that appear to be fruits but are not (they are bright red).

I forgot to add, Podocarpus are all Gymnosperms and as such are related to pines and yews, which definitely makes their edible arils a fruit which isn’t botanically a fruit.

Ever heard of a wonderful thing called the “closet”?