There’s no wood in banana “trees.” They’re actually giant herbs and bananas are actually giant berries.
Cooks in kitchens all over the world like to debate whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, but have cuisine connoisseurs ever thought to question certain designations for other fruits, such as bananas?
While it’s true a banana is a fruit, it’s not commonly known as a berry. All berries are fruits, but not all fruits are berries.
So, what’s the difference between fruit and berry?
Well, botanists define a fruit as the portion of a flowering plant that develops from the ovary.
And veggies are pretty much any part of the plant that aren’t considered a fruit.
Okay, so how does this translate into a banana being a berry?
Well, botanists consider any fleshy fruit, without pit, from a single flower containing one ovary to be a berry.
“Botanically speaking, a berry has three distinct fleshy layers: the exocarp (outer skin), mesocarp (fleshy middle) and endocarp (innermost part, which holds the seeds). For instance, a grape’s outer skin is the exocarp, its fleshy middle is the mesocarp and the jelly-like insides holding the seeds constitute the endocarp,” Jernstedt told Live Science.
In addition to the three layers of skin, a berry must have more than one seed.
And guess who meets all above the criteria: A yellow peeled, white fleshed, seed carrying B-A-N-A-N-A.
Other unusual fruits that are also berries include tomatoes, pomegranates and kiwis.
If you’re considering cherries, plums and olives as potential berries, cross them off your list, along with other fruits containing one central stone.
Strawberries and raspberries aren’t really berries in the botanical sense either. They come from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit.
Whoa, who would have thought fruits with “berry” in their name wouldn’t be berries at all… but a banana would be?
Mind blown, reality shattered.
And berries don’t grow on trees. They grow on herbaceous bushes or shrubs. Though the banana “tree” appears to have a trunk, it actually contains no woody tissue. Rather it consists of layers and layers of leaves furled around one another form a “false stem” that can be as much as 12 inches thick and 40 feet tall, making it one of the largest “herbs” on the planet.