In an exclusive exposé, Your ANNUAL weekly News uncovers the shocking truth behind something that we all thought we knew and loved, Berries.
Woah, you say! I know, right? But how about this;
Ok, where to begin. The botanical definition of a berry is a “fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary”. Apparently, the seeds of a berry are usually surrounded in flesh, but not always! Berries are usually edible, but not always!
The range of what actually is a berry is quite staggering. There are the ones listed above, plus ones that you would actually think are berries; cranberries, gooseberries, grapes, currants and even coffee berries. Then there are some real surprises; the poisonous nightshade, potato plants and watermelons! Nightshade is actually closely related to the potato plant, and the fruit from potatoes is actually also poisonous.
Those citrus fruit that we know and love; oranges, lemons, grapefruits and the like, are also actually berries. Their characteristics of a super thick rind and a deliciously juicy interior means they are given the special name of “hesperidium” – catchy!
Now, what of those fruits that you always thought were berries – but actually aren’t?
Raspberries and Blackberries are quite similar, they are both classed as aggregate fruits. An aggregate fruit, or an “etaerio” differs from a berry because it is formed from the merger of several ovaries within a single flower.
Similarly, a Strawberry, which is an accessory fruit, also has formed from multiple ovaries. However, it differs again because some of the flesh of the strawberry has developed from other parts of the flower than the ovaries. Other accessory fruit includes pomes like apples and piers.
A Drupe, commonly known as a stone fruit, differs again. While a drupe has a fleshy exterior, its seeds are encased by a shell to protect them. Think of a typical apricot, peach or plum. Things like olives, pistachios and almonds are also drupes. Also, drupe is a funny word.
So, now you know. What you thought were berries actually aren’t and what you thought were melons, vegetables and just fruit are all actually berries. The end.