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Ingredient Intelligence
August 8, 2015, 9:57 am

Strawberries – those sweet, bright-red summer fruits — are not actually berries. You might be surprised, however, by some of the other foods that are, technically, berries.

What constitutes a berry?

Let us start by taking a step back. A true berry is a fleshy fruit formed from the ovary of a single flower with a seed, or seeds, embedded on the inside of the flesh.

To put it simply, berries have seeds on the inside of the fruit. And you can see just from looking at a strawberry that its seeds are studded all around the outside of the fruit. So, botanically, strawberries do not meet the definition of a berry.

Where does that leave strawberries?

If strawberries are not true berries, then what are they exactly? This does not flow off the tongue quite as easily as the word 'berry', but strawberries are actually considered 'aggregate fruits' — fruits that develop from multiple ovaries of a single fruit.

Surprising foods that are, ‘technically’, berries

When you think of berries, certainly none of these six foods come to mind. But according to the technical definition of a berry — fleshy fruits, produced from one flower with one ovary, containing seeds on the inside — they are. Here are a few surprising berries:

  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi

For some of these fruits, particularly bananas, their seeds are so tiny we do not even notice that they are actually there.

Berry or not, we can all agree on one thing: perfectly ripe strawberries are truly amazing gems of summer.

Enjoy plump, juicy strawberry in a variety of ways:

While strawberries start to ripen as early as March, you can get the juicy red berries fresh as late as October, making summer the perfect season for the most popular berry in the world.

Strawberry Parfaits: Layer fresh berries with a creamy ricotta mixture for a crowd-pleasing no-bake treat.

Chicken and Strawberry Salad: Strawberries do not have to be dessert — you can work them into a main dish, too. A chicken and strawberry salad is a wonderful no-cook dish that is a snap to make, combining sweet strawberries, tangy vinaigrette, moist chicken, and rich blue cheese.

Strawberry Agua Fresca: Spanish for 'fresh water', agua fresca is a refreshing, fruit-infused drink that is served throughout Mexico. This smooth, cool, and utterly refreshing frozen drink is so simple: fresh strawberries, lime juice, sugar, and water in a blender, and it tastes more indulgent than it really is.

Mango-Ginger-Strawberry Smoothie: Simply blend mango, strawberries, crushed ice, low-fat yogurt, crystallized ginger and honey to get a fiber and vitamins enriched drink with a dash of ginger to soothe achy muscles and calm queasy stomachs.






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