There always seems to be some confusion about certain fruits and vegetables and which categories they fall into. For example, strawberries aren’t berries at all; they’re actually aggregate or compound fruits. Normally, berries would stem from a single ovary, whereas raspberries and strawberries comprise several ovaries that fuse into one. In addition, cucumbers aren’t vegetables at all; they are in fact, fruits.
It all comes down to the biological construction of these delectable and natural treats. So, whether you enjoy them raw, skinned, sliced or prefer to poach them, it’s time to brush up on some fruity general knowledge.
Types of Fruits
The construction of a fruit determines what type it is and what category it falls into. This means, fruits with a pip in the middle are not the same as ones with seeds on the outside. There are a lot of categories, as they’re divided by fleshy or dry pulp, follicles, seeds, grains and a whole lot more.
However, there is a simpler way to categorise fruits, namely:
- Berries – Also classified as simple fruits because they stem from a single plant ovary. They’re fragile but delicious, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Blueberries and blackberries are examples of super healthy fruits.
- Citrus – These are identified by dimpled and leathery skin. When cooking with them, you can use the juice, pulp and even the skin, known as zest, to flavour dishes. This variety includes oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits.
And, don’t forget tropical fruits. Although this classification is not related to the actual properties of the fruit, these can only grow in warm climates. The majority of them are in high demand globally and include popular choices such as bananas, mangoes, kiwis, passion fruit and avocado.
Just like our weather is affected by the seasons, so is the produce. Sunshine and rain are the main contributing factors to agriculture, which is why we can’t get our favourite fruits all year round. But, from December through to February, we have access to some delicious flavours and ingredients which can be used to make even better dishes, such as:
- Pineapples – For an easy dessert, thinly slice pineapples and place flat on a plate. Arrange slices to make a carpaccio, drizzle with orange sugar syrup and garnish with fresh berries. You can even add some chilli flakes and coconut milk for a spicier dish.
- Cantaloupes – Cut in half, remove pips and fill with cottage cheese. Alternatively, wedges are also complemented by cured meats such as Parma Ham.
- Cherries – Once you’ve pitted these fruits you can use them to make jam, add them to cheesecake or even brine them in brandy.
- Peaches – Remove the stone and fuzzy exterior, finely chop it and you have a crucial ingredient to a deliciously sweet salsa..
- Paw-paw – For a tropical breakfast, mix raw oats, honey, toasted seeds and coconut oil together. Slice your fruit in half, remove the seeds and fill with the oat mixture.
Some other fruits available in the southern hemisphere summer season include apricots, plums, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, mangoes, blackberries and lemons.
Get creative with nature’s own, nutrition packed treats to ensure that you’re fuelled and kept in peak condition for 2016.
Sign up with Capsicum Culinary Studio this year to learn more about the potential of foods and fruits.