It’s pumpkin season! Whether you are stuffing your facehole with pie, finishing the last of the summer’s zucchini, or making delicious Curried Butternut Squash Soup, don’t forget that a pumpkin is a fruit. That’s right, your beloved Fall treats are the giant, orange ovaries of Cucurbita pepo.
The state of Illinois grows 90-95% of the pumpkins in the U.S. so you can stab them with large knives to make scary faces, roast their seeds, and hurl them 5,545.43 feet for a world record. Next time you are in Morton, Illinois sipping on your coffee (also a seed from a fruit, not a bean) waiting for the Central Illinois Banjo Club to blow the Fall in, think about what it really means for something to be a fruit or a vegetable. Do you know the difference?
Fruits are the ovaries that contain the seeds that will help to propagate further generations of these delicious plants. A vegetable can be any part of a plant including the stems, leaves, or even roots. A fruit can be considered a vegetable, but not all vegetables can be considered fruits. You could certainly make arguments about scientific vs. culinary definitions of “fruit” and “vegetable”, especially when considering things like peas, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.