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Is An Orange A Fruit Or Vegetable?

A lot of people get confused about the difference between fruits and vegetables. Well, this is not surprising, since fruits and vegetables are defined differently by botanists and culinarians. To a culinarian, a fruit is anything sweet, and to a botanist, a fruit is the seed-bearing part of a plant.

This now brings us to the question, is an orange a fruit or vegetable? In simple terms, oranges are considered to be fruits. Apparently, you will find seeds inside an orange, irrespective of the varieties or species you’re up with.

But, is that enough to categorize this plant as a “fruit?” Well, let’s look into a lot of factors that would help us answer this question.

What is a Fruit?

Is An Orange A Fruit Or Vegetable

Generally, and from a ly man point of view, a fruit can be said to be the part of a plant that bears seeds inside, has a sweet taste, and can be eaten raw. However, botanists and culinarians don’t agree on one definition of fruits.

Both categories of persons defined fruits in different ways, and they are explained below for better clarification:

Botanists Definition Of Fruits

According to botanists, and as highlighted by Wikipedia, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that forms from the ovary of flowering plants.

It doesn’t really many if the fruit taste is sweet or savory, for the fact that it produces from the ovary after flowering of a plant, it is considered a fruit.

However, in botany, there are false fruits; these are fruits that also form from the ovary, but they tend to have a somewhat flower inside (ex., Apples). Now, this is a botanist’s definition of fruit – what does a chef (culinarian) have to say?

Culinarian Definition Of Fruits

Culinarians believe that fruits must be sweet, it doesn’t matter if they form from the ovary, bear seeds inside, or meet any other specifications of a fruit (as defined in botany).

Thus, to a chef, carrots, tomatoes, and other tasty edible substances that are literally tagged “vegetables” in botany, are recognized as a fruit.

What About Vegetables?

Again, in botany, “Vegetables” simply refer to the edible parts of a plant/tree, and this sometimes includes the “fruits.” Here’s a proper definition, a vegetable is the edible part of a plant such as the leaves, stem, roots, tubers, bulbs, and flowers.

Based on this definition, an orange is not a vegetable, but then again let’s view things from the culinarian’s point of view.

Vegetables, according to culinarians, are edible substances that have a savory taste. That is to say, the substance must have a sour taste before it is considered a vegetable by a chef.

Well, oranges don’t have a savory taste, do they? No. However, some orange varieties taste bitter.

If we are to draw our conclusion here, it is safe to say that oranges are recognized as fruits, regardless of the perspective you’re viewing them from. But then, let’s continue with a brief overview of oranges.

How Did Oranges Come To Be?

Oranges are actually man-made hybrid fruits created many centuries ago through a process generally recognized as selective breeding or hybridization.

They belong to the single genus, Citrus, and there are many known varieties of the plant, “Orange Tree.”

According to studies and history, the modern-day cultivated orange is a hybrid of pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata).

There are hundreds of orange cultivars, and there are so many varieties, too. However, oranges are still among the best nutritious fruits, cultivated and eaten worldwide.

Is An Orange a Fruit or Vegetable?

Following our discussions so far in this article, it is clear that oranges are regarded as fruits from the two common points of view, botany and culinary.

Yes, this is because they are fleshy, sweet, and contain seeds inside. Orange is just one of the many fruits in the citrus family.

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At the end of it all, the simple answer to the question, “is an orange a fruit?” is YES. Orange is a man-made(hybrid) fruit created many years ago by early farmers in Asia.

More so, just like oranges, some people also think that apples are a kind of vegetable and carrots are a type of fruit.

Well, apples are fruits and carrots are vegetables. More interesting facts about fruits and vegetables can be read from our homepage.