Is a Jalapeño a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Classification and Uses
A jalapeño is a type of chili pepper that is frequently used to add flavor and spice to many culinary dishes. While usually classified as a vegetable, jalapeños are actually a type of fruit because they contain seeds.
Jalapeños are a good source of vitamins A and C, and they also contain folate and potassium. They are low in calories and contain beneficial plant compounds that are thought to have health-promoting properties. Spicy peppers can provide an interesting and flavorful addition to your diet.
Jalapeños are often used in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes such as tacos, nachos, and chili con carne. They can also be used to make hot sauces and salsa. Pickled jalapeños are a popular topping on nachos, tacos, and burgers, and they can be eaten both raw and cooked.
Tips for Handling & Eating
It is important to handle jalapeños with caution, as the heat from their capsaicin content can cause a burning sensation if it comes into contact with eyes or skin. Wear gloves when cutting and deseeding jalapeños, and remember to wash hands, cutting boards, and utensils thoroughly after handling them.
When adding jalapeños to your dishes, start with a small amount and adjust to your desired heat level. The seeds and membrane are the spiciest parts of the pepper, so if you want to ease up on the heat, discard them before adding to your dish.
In conclusion, jalapeños are classified as a fruit because of the presence of seeds, but they are widely used in cooking as a vegetable. They are low in calories but nutrient dense, providing a good source of vitamins A and C as well as folate and potassium. When adding jalapeños to dishes, remember to handle with caution and adjust the level of heat to your preference.