I received a private email this week regarding some startling information.
So startling that the reader was polite enough to send me the information in an email. She obviously wasn’t comfortable actually leaving a comment on the blog to bring it to my attention.
I appreciate that she respected our family privacy and didn’t divulge this information right on the blog before I had a chance to discuss it with PhilBillPaul and to tell the kids.
Sometimes, when you learn something new, it takes a bit of time to process the information and be at peace with it before you are able to share it with friends.
This was information so startling that I dreaded having to tell PhilBillPaul. But those who know me well know that I really value clear, open communication and rarely run from confrontation.
So I had to tell him the truth about something.
Something that he is still recovering from.
I won’t type the words he used when I told him.
I can say that the kids took it better than he did.
Here’s exactly what the email said:
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure pumpkins are (gasp!) VEGETABLES! And the Humphreys family eats them!
The sanitized version our conversation…
“That’s not funny.”
“Want me tell the kids?”
“That’s wrong. I’m going downstairs to google it. I know that’s wrong.”
“Yum. Vegetable Pie and Vegetable Bars with Cream Cheese for all these years.”
“Stop it. I’m getting sick.”
He is such a baby. And has major vegetable issues.
As you will see if you choose to read on.
I know this is TMI. But for those of you up for a vegetable vs. fruit lesson here’s what PhilBillPaul came back upstairs to gleefully share from this website:
“Vegetable is a culinary term. Its definition has no scientific value and is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. All parts of herbaceous plants eaten as food by humans, whole or in part, are generally considered vegetables. Mushrooms, though belonging to the biological kingdom, fungi, are also commonly considered vegetables…Since ‘vegetable’ is not a botanical term, there is no contradiction in referring to a plant part as a fruit while also being considered a vegetable. Given this general rule of thumb, vegetables can include leaves (lettuce), stems (asparagus), roots (carrots), flowers (broccoli), bulbs (garlic), seeds (peas and beans) and of course the botanical fruits like cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and capsicums.” (Wikipedia.org)
This is the correct answer for all your food trivia pursuits:
If you are speaking in a botanical, scientific context, then pumpkin, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, tomato and squash are FRUITS because they all have seeds. If you are speaking in culinary terms, they can all be properly called VEGETABLES.
Case solved, right? Not quite. The United States Supreme Court entered into this fascinating debate and gave a legal verdict on whether a tomato should be classified as a vegetable or a fruit. They decided unanimously, in Nix versus Hedden, 1883, that a tomato is a vegetable, even though it is a botanical fruit.
So, there you have the difference between fruit and vegetable and an amazing nutrition fact. A tomato is a fruit AND a vegetable. A pumpkin is a fruit AND a vegetable. The age-old question of “Is it a fruit or vegetable?” has been resolved. Next, we will tackle “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?” (You do know it was the chicken first, right?)
Dang! Seems like tomato pie would be classified as a fruit pie if the Supreme Court hadn’t intervened.
It’s good to learn something new every day so I appreciate the private email.
Bring on Trivial Pursuit – I’m ready!
For bonus fun during this Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to call it Vegetable Pie with Whupped Cream.
Granny arrives tomorrow and to my delight, will be scurrying around my house washing the kids’ clothes as they remove them and sweeping my kitchen floor and asking:
“What time can we leave on Tuesday to go to the mountains?”
Have a wonderful weekend!