blackberry fruit

heart from blackberry fruit at the hands

Ours is a time in which people love to muddy distinctions, from crossover musicians to masters of fusion cuisine. But though we may not always be able to tell country from pop, boy from girl or East from West, most of us think we know a fruit from a vegetable, and we like it that way. No one wants to be the first with eggplant ice cream or asparagus Koolaid.

And yet the distinction is purely arbitrary. Ask a botanist to sort the produce section of your supermarket into one category or another and he would have a lot of work to do. In the fruit display, along with apples and oranges, he’d place tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, melons, gourds, okra, eggplants, ears of corn and pods of beans and peas. He’d point out that most nuts and grains are, properly speaking, fruits and you might have to stop him there before he rearranged the entire store.

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