Does the melon belong to the fruit or to the vegetable?

Does the melon belong to the fruit or to the vegetable?

The distinction between fruits and vegetables

The botanical affiliation to the genus of the cucurbitaceae and thus a close relationship to pumpkins and cucumbers is often cited as an argument for classification within the vegetable category. The classification as a fruit is therefore more based on a culinary assignment to the supposedly sweet fruit. From a strictly scientific point of view, there is actually no such separation between fruit and vegetables based on taste. After all, there are also some types of fruit that don't necessarily taste sweet:

  • Quinces
  • rosehips
  • Avocados

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Rhubarb, on the other hand, is usually perceived as a vegetable, although it is mostly processed into desserts. The taste alone does not answer the question of belonging to fruit or vegetables.

A question of the age of the plants

In fact, the assignment to fruit or vegetables is based on the age of the respective plants. Fruits are perennial plants that can sometimes reach a very old age as bushes or trees. Therefore, strictly speaking, the fruits of the olive tree are also considered fruit. Vegetables, on the other hand, are defined as anything that dies with the rest of the plant parts after harvest or, like asparagus, has a maximum cultivation period of two years. With the melon as a vegetable, all parts of the plant die off until new plants grow from the seeds in the next season.

Put watermelon as a spicy vegetable garnish

The actually sweet-tasting watermelon is also consumed as a spicy vegetable side dish in some countries. To do this, the fruit is cut into pieces and placed in a vinegar solution, which is also a good method for long-term storage of the watermelon.

Tips & Tricks

Due to the shorter vegetation period and the cooler temperatures, melons must be brought forward in good time or grown in the greenhouse if the fruits are to be ready for harvest.