Is a Lemon a Vegetable?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Lemons are often considered a fruit when it comes to cooking and baking, however, they are technically classified as a vegetable.
Lemons are classified as a berry known as a “hesperidium,” and all these types of berries are actually considered vegetables. The hesperidium is the botanical name for the fruit of the citrus trees. Lemons and other citrus fruits, like oranges, fit underneath this classification.
For the botanist, the term “vegetable” applies to any part of a plant that is edible and doesn’t include the fruits and seeds most of us are used to, which also applies to lemons. The leaves, buds, stems, roots, and any other parts besides the seed or fruit make up the definition of a vegetable.
When it comes to cooking and baking, the differentiation between a lemon as a fruit and a vegetable can be difficult to understand. However, the following points will help you recognize lemons for what they are:
- The botanical definition: Lemons are classified as a vegetable because of the fundamental difference between the botanical and culinary definitions.
- Cooking with lemons: When cooking with lemons, they must be treated like fruits instead of vegetables.
- Nutrition: Lemons are packed with essential and beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Regardless of whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, if you pass a lemon tree in bloom it’s a beautiful sight, and the addition of lemons in your cooking and baking can add an enjoyable, fragrant, and healthy ingredient.