Mom always told you to eat your fruits and vegetables, but unless your mom happens to be a botanist, she probably never bothered to explain which was which. It’s not one of those things that have to be explained. It’s just something you pick up as you go along, like “water is wet,” “rocks are heavy” and “Keith Richards is immortal.”
Is Jalapenos Fruit or Vegetable – The Scientific Take
If you ask a scientist, they’ll tell you that not only are jalapenos fruits, so are all peppers. The reason for this is that botanists don’t study plants in your kitchen. They study them in nature, where they live. The scientific definition of “fruit” or “vegetable” has nothing to do with how you eat them, and everything to do with what part of the plant they are.
Jalapenos Fruit or Vegetable– The Culinary Take
On the other hand, a chef will tell you that a jalapeno is a vegetable. This is because the culinary definition of fruits and vegetables has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with how you’re using a particular food in the kitchen. In this terminology, a fruit is sweet, and a vegetable is savory, bitter or spicy. Peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants are all examples of culinary vegetables that are also scientifically considered fruits.
Interestingly, the US Government agrees with this definition. It might not be wise to hire a high-priced lawyer to sue a grocery chain for stocking tomatoes in the fruit aisle, but there is a precedent. Way back in 1893, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a case, Nix. v. Hedden that tomatoes could be taxed as a vegetable because this was the usual, everyday meaning of the term.
Jalapenos – Fruit or Vegetable?
Are jalapenos a fruit or a vegetable? It depends who you’re talking to. If you’re talking to a scientist, they’re fruits. If you’re talking to a chef or a lawyer, they’re vegetables. If you’re still waiting for a consensus, they’re both. So next time you talk to your mom, tell her you ate a jalapeno; it’s a fruit and a vegetable.