Is An Apple A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

Though it is believed in Christian traditions that the apple was the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve ate in heaven, there is no clear evidence for that.

We all love apples, and they’re a necessity. Therefore, no wonders in them to be the forbidden fruit. Let’s not get into it.

What’s more important is that many people wonder if an apple is a fruit or a vegetable. Apparently, we all know that Apple is a fruit.

But we need to give a logical explanation behind our beliefs about fruits. Different people categorize fruits and vegetables on a different basis.

Culinary experts describe both food items in a different way than botanists. Therefore, there is enough room for the argument about the apple being a fruit or a vegetable.

In this article, we will break or make the myth about the apple being a fruit or vegetable. Besides, there is a lot more information regarding apples, their botany, different varieties of fruit, and a lot more. We will also look into the detail of the famous proverb about apples.

So let’s get into it.

Difference Between Fruits And Vegetables

As mentioned earlier, the definition of a fruit or vegetable varies across the group of people defining it. Culinary experts and chefs define both things differently than gardeners and chefs.

We will put in front the explanations given by both groups and let you decide which plant to categorize as fruit and which one to be called a vegetable.

Botanists define fruits as a seed-bearing structure grown on flowering plants. Fruits are believed to be grown from the ovaries of plants.

Similarly, vegetables cover all the plants other than fruits. All categories of roots, leaves, and stems are vegetables for botanists.

For instance, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, etc., are all vegetables.

According to chefs,

Vegetables and fruits are defined on the basis of their use in the culinary. The fruits used in savory dishes, regardless of their botanical properties, are vegetables in the eyes of chefs.

Tomatoes are the prime example of such a fruit. Eggplants and bell peppers are also fruits but treated as vegetables.

On the other hand, fruits are sweet or even sour-tasting products of specific plants.

Of course, the botanical definition of fruits and vegetables makes more sense and logic. Therefore, we will favor the first definition.

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However, you can choose your side depending on your own perception of fruits or vegetables.

Apple –Origin, Botany & Cultivation

Now let’s talked about our beloved apples.

We will answer if apples fall in the category of fruits or vegetables. But before that, let’s briefly walk through the apple’s origin, botany, and breeding.

Apple belongs to the genus Malus. The botanical or scientific name of the apple is Malus Domestica, a fruit cultivated around all parts of the world. Apple is believed to be originated in Central Asia from its wild ancestor Malus sieversii.

Besides Central Asia, apples have been grown in other parts of Asia, European, and North American countries.

If we talk about the cultivars of apple, there are more than 7500 known cultivars. Different cultivars are used to deliver distinct tastes that are employed for varying purposes(from cooking to eating and cider production.)

For breeding purposes, seeds are mostly used to grow apple trees. However, apples have to be propagated asexually to get the offspring’s desirable characteristics.

The reason why asexual propagation is used is that the seeds-grown apples don’t match the parents in their taste and other characteristics. An apple tree can live for as long as a century.

Is An Apple A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

Let’s come to the most important part of the article:

Is an apple a fruit or a vegetable?

Well, the answer is that apples are fruits.

We can justify the answer of apple being a fruit from the botanical and culinary definitions of vegetable and fruit as discussed above.

From the botanical definition view, an apple is a seed-containing ripened ovary. Therefore, it clearly falls in the category of fruits.

On the other hand, most culinary chefs consider fruits as the sweet edible parts of plants. Since the commercially produced apples are sweet in flavor, an apple is a fruit from a culinary point of view as well.

Therefore, no misunderstanding should exist about whether the apple is a fruit or vegetable. It’s a fruit from every aspect.

Different Varieties of Apple Around The World

As mentioned above, there are 7500 known cultivars of apples around the world. However, the most common varieties of apple eaten and used around the world are as follows:

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Red Delicious

A variety as old as the 1880s originated from a Missouri-based nursery. It was introduced as a replacement for Ben Davis’s bland apple. Previously known as Hawkeye apple and Stark Delicious, the Red Delicious is a heart-shaped apple with bright red and gold stripes.

Golden Delicious

Found in West Virginia, the Golden Delicious apple is not old to the world. It was started to be bred in the 20th century by blending Grimes Golden apple and Golden Reinette apple.

The commercialization of the apple started in 1916 and it’s popular for its sweet taste and yellowish-green thin skin.

Golden delicious is commonly used in baking, salads, and sauces. The Golden Delicious apple is also a gift of The Stark Brother’s Nursery, like in the case of the Red Delicious apple.

Fuji

A discovery of Japan, the Fuji apple was developed in 1930 by crossing Virginia Ralls Genet and Red Delicious. It’s a popular breed in China, Japan, and the US.

Different countries in Asia and the US are involved in the commercial breeding of Fuji. Apple pies, apple crumbles, and salads are the most common spot to find Fuji apples.

Gala

A popular breed of apples in the US, Gala, was introduced by New Zealand by crossing Kidd’s Orange Red Apple and Golden Delicious apple.

Gala apples are characterized by a sweet crispier taste and golden skin with pink and orange stripes. Pies, salads, sauces, desserts, etc., are the most popular uses of the Gala.

Lady

Pomme d’Api or Christmas Apple is commonly known as Lady, and it was discovered in France. It’s an old breed of Apple known since 1628.

It didn’t come to North America before 1800. The small-sized apples are commonly used for decorating Christmas trees, eaten in pies, stuffings, and pastries.

Cortland

A cross of McIntosh and another apple breed is Cortland, which originated in New York in 1898. It is grown commercially and is popular for the bright red color with a yellow backdrop.

The Cortland apple’s flesh doesn’t turn brown after cutting. Therefore, it is commonly used in desserts and salads.

Granny Smith

Granny Smith is an Australian green apple, and its name is given after the farmer Maria Ann Smith who discovered this apple.

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The crunchy taste and long-living freshness make this breed most popular in the export market.

Honey Crisp

The product of the University of Minnesota was introduced to the market in 1991, and it is a juicy, sweet, and crispy golden-colored apple.

These apples are also popular for long-living freshness and are popularly used for pies, sauces, and salads. They’re also eaten raw.

Baldwin

After the introduction of Red Delicious, Baldwin Davis has become a rare variety of apples. Discovered in Massachusetts, Baldwin is as old as the 18th century.

These apples are famous for being used in cider vinegar. The hard, bright red apples are also suitable for baking purposes. 

McIntosh

Finally, McIntosh was founded in Canada in 1811. The breed is also known as Canada’s national apple.

The red-colored apple becomes a popular breed during the 1960s in Canada dropping the import of other breeds. The apple is consumed raw in most parts of Canada and Northeastern America.

Why Do People Believe Apple To Be A Vegetable

When everybody knows that Apple is a fruit, not a vegetable, why do some people believe it to be a vegetable?

In the world of Google, many people get confused by the abundance of information over the internet.

When Wikipedia says that many fruits can also be vegetables, it creates confusion among people. It’s obvious why someone would believe an apple to be a vegetable instead of a fruit.

Is The Proverb ‘An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away’ True?

The proverb can be claimed to be true to some extent. The reason is numerous health benefits associated with apples.

It is packed with a lot of nutritional benefits like improving digestion, antioxidant properties, weight loss, heart health, and protection against cancer. Therefore, it can be said that An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.

Final Words

We have shared with you a lot of information about apples and the different breeds of apples found in the market.

Besides, after reading this article, you can easily differentiate apple as a fruit, not a vegetable. We hope this information would help clear your doubts about which category apple fall in.