The cucumber is a favorite vegetable of many…but wait…is a cucumber a fruit or a vegetable?

First, what is a cucumber? A popular garden vegetable; popular for eating fresh, preserving in pickles, and adding to salads. The cucumber is the fruit of the Cucumis sativus plant which is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family.

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Growing up kids always flaunted the knowledge that a tomato is a fruit NOT a vegetable.  And, while yes, that is true, have you ever stopped to think about what makes a vegetable versus what makes a fruit?

 

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Is a Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?

 

Well, that depends based on who you are asking and what their criteria is for deciding.

 

According to Science: the cucumber is a fruit

Scientifically speaking, a fruit is the part of a plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds of the plant.

By this definition, a cucumber is a fruit. It develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains the seeds.

This also means that lots of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.

All other parts of the plant- roots, leaves, stalks, etc- would be the vegetables.

 

So in the garden- the cucumber is the fruit of the plant. But bring it inside to the kitchen, and you may get a different answer!

 

 

Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

 

According to Cooks: the cucumber is a vegetable

In the kitchen and in the culinary world the cucumber would be described as a vegetable. Their less scientific criteria classifies fruits and vegetables based on sweetness and sugar content.

Cucumbers would be considered a vegetable as it is low in sugar and usually used in more savory dishes (though I’ve used them in a few sweeter dishes and they are delicious!)

 

 

Does It Really Matter?

NO!  Cucumbers are delicious and have a lot of nutritional value- so no matter if you think a cucumber is a fruit or a vegetable keep on eating them and keep on growing them!

 

Learn More About Cucumbers:

Check out these articles below to learn more about cucumbers, the benefits of cucumbers, how to store them, and more!

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