A misclick took me to the tag, which has the definition:

Refers to the culinary definition of fruit: a sweet seed-containing part of a plant that is commonly eaten raw.

That seems like a hybrid of a botanical and a culinary definition.

Aside from the fact that seedless fruits are common (bananas anyone?), it would seem odd to exclude cooking apples, Seville oranges, and elderberries (botanically fruit, must be cooked due to toxins). Even lemons are at odds with this definition, as they're not "commonly eaten raw".

Rhubarb is almost invariably used as a fruit in the kitchen¹. Certainly I would expect to tag a question about rhubarb pie with [fruit][pie] as these cook rather differently to meat pies (for example).

Wikipedia in its list of culinary fruits uses a slightly different definition:

"Any sweet, edible part of a plant that resembles fruit, even if it does not develop from a floral ovary; also used in a technically imprecise sense for some sweet or sweetish vegetables, some of which may resemble a true fruit or are used in cookery as if they were a fruit, for example rhubarb."

(their quotes, I assume from the cited source Harri Vainio; Franca Bianchini (2003). Fruit and Vegetables. IARC. p. 2. ISBN 9283230086. but p.2 isn't viewable online).

I suggest we adopt similar terminology, especially dropping the raw part which seems uncommon elsewhere.


¹ If I get a good crop this year I intend to try making rhubarb chutney; chutneys of course are often made from fruit despite being savoury.

  • Well, we do have a rhubarb tag, so there's no real need to use the generic "fruit" tag in this case. :D – Catija Feb 21 at 21:08
  • @Catija I'm sure I could come up with a question along the lines of "Can rhubarb or any other fruit be made into a crumble without precooking?" – Chris H Feb 21 at 22:17
  • I'm not saying that generally this isn't a good question... only that I don't think we're as taxonomically pure as you're implying we are. :D If you plopped a fruit tag on that question, I'm guessing it'd stay. I've actually never read the fruit wiki excerpt before. – Catija Feb 21 at 22:18
  • 4
    Nooooooo I don't want to have a fruit vs vegetable meta debate...... – Cascabel Feb 21 at 22:44
  • @Catija neither had I until today, coincidentally shortly after looking at rhubarb recipes. – Chris H Feb 21 at 22:48
  • @Cascabel even apart from that, do you have any idea where the raw bit came from? – Chris H Feb 21 at 22:48
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    @ChrisH It came from Aaronut, according to the revision history. No idea if it was paraphrased from some reference or just his best attempt to define the rough category. – Cascabel Feb 21 at 22:50
  • @Cascabel I didn't think of checking the history when I was at a PC, so thanks. Viewing the history on mobile isn't too good. – Chris H Feb 22 at 7:01
  • What's a "cooking apple"? I've eaten at least 30 varieties of apple in my life and I've never heard of a "cooking apple". Also, whether bananas have seeds or not is a matter that could be debated. The cavendish that is most commonly eaten has soft, immature seeds. – Todd Wilcox Mar 13 at 19:48
  • @ToddWilcox have you never come across a Bramley apple then? – Chris H Mar 13 at 19:58
  • Ah - "cooking apples" are primarily sour? I love eating sour apples raw, so that's what confused me. – Todd Wilcox Mar 13 at 20:03
  • @ToddWilcox larger, less sweet, and the texture isn't as nice as most eaters (though no worse than the huge, cartoonishly perfect and tasteless apples prominently displayed in American supermarkets). I can see why you'd go for something sour for eating to get some flavour, though they may be dual-purpose like a Granny Smith. assumed "cooking apple" was an international term but maybe it's mainly British. – Chris H Mar 13 at 22:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I made a tweak:

Refers to the culinary definition of fruit: a sweet and/or seed-containing part of a plant that roughly resembles a botanical fruit, even if it is not a seed-containing botanical fruit.

plus a bit of a don't-be-pedantic note in the full description.

If anyone wants more editing, feel free to suggest an edit to the tag wiki yourself, or just ping me here and I'll do it if it's obviously a good idea.

(Trying really hard to just make it inclusive and avoid anyone thinking they can't apply it because "well technically..." - not all fruit has seeds, not all fruit is terribly sweet, etc etc.)

  • That's similar to what I considered writing, only yours is better. – Chris H Feb 22 at 6:58

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