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The German language is fascinatingly complex and over the centuries numerous terms and designations for fruit-bearing plants have developed that do not actually correspond to the botanical definitions. Watermelons and olives also belong in this category, as these are often mislabeled and are therefore often the subject of discussions. Nevertheless, the question is quite justified, because what are these two fruits actually?
Both are fruits
Both products are fruits. Despite the general perception, a fruit is not immediately a type of fruit, since many supposed types of vegetables also produce fruit. Fruits are the flowers of the plant itself, which is in the process of seed ripening and either protects its seeds via the formed pulp or makes them palatable to other living beings so that they eat the fruit. As a result, the seeds contained in the pulp can then be excreted via the digestive tract of the living creatures, as is the case with berries, for example. Fruits belong to fruits and vegetables.
Notice: The watermelon is a tankberry, while the olive is a classic stone fruit. It is precisely for this reason that the two plants are fruit.
What are watermelons?
When it comes to watermelon, there is a misconception that the gourd is a fruit. However, this is not the case, because the melon is not a perennial and must be sown again every year in order for it to bear fruit. For this reason, the watermelon belongs to the vegetable crops, because vegetables do not grow as perennial plants. Vegetable plants are also defined by the parts of the plant that are used:
This means that watermelons would not be a vegetable in this sense, since the fruits are used here, which in turn would speak for the classification in the collective term of fruit. Watermelons are also sweet, which also fits this category. With about six grams of sugar per 100 grams of flesh, the watermelon is not necessarily one of the sweetest fruits, but its taste is not reminiscent of typical vegetables, let alone a bottle or Hokkaido pumpkin, which are among the closest relatives in the family. To resolve this confusion, melons are classified under the fruit vegetable category, a kind of hybrid category.
What is fruit vegetable?
Fruit vegetables are fruits that combine properties from both categories. This means that there are not only characteristics from vegetable plants, but also fruit in fruit vegetables, which makes them uniquely complex. In addition to the melons, these also include:
As can be seen, the cucumber, which also belongs to the cucurbit family, like the courgettes, is a fruit vegetable, since all these plants are vegetables whose fruits are edible. It is interesting to note that only the melons develop sweet fruit within this category, which explains why they are mistakenly counted among the fruit varieties. Citrullus lanatus is one of the fruit vegetables that are one of the most popular summer snacks. Watermelons also have seeds within the pulp, which is also a characteristic of fruit vegetables, but also fruit varieties.
What are olives?
There is also a misconception about olives that they are a form of vegetable, which is not the case here either. Olives are among the oldest crops known to man and are particularly important for the Mediterranean habitat, since the fruits of the olive tree could not only be eaten, but also processed into products such as oil. Due to their slightly bitter, tart taste and use in cooking, olives are considered a vegetable, even though they are not at all. Just like with the watermelons, this error is due to taste. The growth of the olive tree is completely different:
- grows as a tree or shrub
- forms single fruits with stone
- other parts of the olive tree are not usable
All these signs strongly indicate the growth of a fruit. This category includes all fruit-forming plants from which only the fruit is harvested. In addition, these plants are perennial and many fruit trees can reach old age. Another example of a "fruit tree" that does not bear sweet fruit is the avocado. Although this does not form a stone fruit, this is a berry, but it is not sweet either and is mostly used for tart dishes and salads in the kitchen. Olives clearly belong in the category of fruit, which the stone fruit also provides information on.
What are drupes?
Drupes are a growth form of the inclosing fruits that are found exclusively on perennial plants, mainly on trees and palms. They have a single seed protected in a voluminous mass of pulp or separate shells, which can only be eaten in the case of exceptions such as pistachios, almonds, blackberries and raspberries. Stone fruits also include:
This is only a small selection, because drupes are quite numerous and even have a special form, the aggregate drupes with raspberries, blackberries, figs and jackfruit. This growth form is counted exclusively among the fruit varieties. Therefore, it is important to know that olives belong in this category. Unlike watermelons, olives are easier to identify. Since only the taste does not fit the classification with them, the growth and the fruit itself do. Stone fruits continue to multiply via the inner stones, because these represent the seeds and are swallowed by animals, especially birds, and excreted elsewhere.