Homeland pumpkin is America. This vegetable is considered the oldest culture of the peoples of such states as Mexico, Bolivia, Peru and Chile. Thanks to the power of growth, nutritional and healing properties, excellent taste, huge size of fruits and high yield, pumpkin became the basis of the life of the ancient civilizations of the American continent. She was consumed in large quantities. Pumpkins are widely used in the household. Ancestors considered it a cult plant. And today, the main ritual attribute of Halloween is a large orange pumpkin.
What is a pumpkin: a fruit or a vegetable?
If you follow the statements of botanists, fruits are shrubs, trees with juicy flesh, formed from the ovary of flowers. In fact, this definition is suitable for cucumbers with tomatoes, and for eggplants with zucchini.
Is a pumpkin a vegetable or a fruit? Again, turn to science. For nerds, a vegetable is the edible part of any plant. Exceptions are berries, fruits, seeds, and nuts. As for the root vegetables, it is not yet determined what it is. Although they are often considered vegetables, guided by the fact that they are edible. Thus, the fruit is a pumpkin or vegetable, there is no exact definition. Therefore, what this culture is is unknown. Scientists consider pumpkin a fruit, and most consumers - a vegetable.
What is a pumpkin: a vegetable or a berry?
To answer this question, we turn to scientific sources. In the botany section, a berry is a fruit with a large number of seeds, which has a dense shell and juicy pulp. Is a pumpkin a berry or a vegetable? Let's try to figure it out. For example, watermelon. His scientists consider the berry, as it fits the description. But we, ordinary consumers, do we call him that? Take grapes. Many consider it a fruit, although it is a berry. So what is a pumpkin - a berry or a vegetable? Open question. On the one hand, there are a lot of seeds in it, a dense crust, juicy tasty pulp. It seems to be a berry. But at least once someone called a pumpkin berry?
All people who consume the fruits, adhere to their systematization on the culinary basis. In this understanding, fruits are considered fruits with juicy sweet pulp, which are eaten raw, and vegetables - those that need culinary processing. But confusion may arise. For example, a tomato. It is most often eaten raw, although it is a vegetable. You can bake an apple in the oven, that is, process it, but it will still be a fruit.
There are many classifications of fruits. All of them are confused and not studied until the end. Therefore, one should not pay attention to this separation of fruits according to various characteristics. Eat all that benefits the body, and do not understand: a pumpkin is a vegetable or fruit. Let scientists do it.
Types of culture
Cultural and wild pumpkin species create a variety of shapes and colors. The first in nature, there are only five, and the last - sixteen. But today not all types of pumpkins are grown in the world, but mostly only three. This is a large-fruited, hard-bodied and nutmeg squash. They are easy to distinguish, if you pay attention to the stem. In the first type, it has a rounded-cylindrical shape, in the second - its surface is ribbed with grooves, in the latter - has the shape of a pentahedron, extended at the base, somewhat reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower.
The homeland of culture is Bolivia and Peru. Even in ancient times, pumpkins were brought to China and India, where they began to grow it everywhere. It is here that it reaches a gigantic size, each fruit weighs one hundred kilograms and more.
This is the sweetest variety of pumpkin. It contains fifteen percent of sugar, whereas in watermelon - only eleven. Fruits have a different color, round or flat shape, they often have small bumps. Pumpkin species have varieties. There are three large-fruited crops:
- Mammoth Differs in the huge sizes, bright coloring, thin pulp, the big seed chamber and the small content of sugar. Gardeners love this pumpkin and are happy to grow varieties such as Titan and Goliath.
- Winter This pumpkin has the small sizes of flat hilly fruits. They are painted in dark green or gray. The taste of the fruit is very sweet. The flesh is distinguished by its density and bright orange color, reminiscent of carrots, which indicates a high content of carotene. The most delicious table varieties of this type are Marble and Kherson.
- Seroplodna. This type of pumpkin has a rounded flat shape and weighs up to thirty kilograms. The flesh is thick and not sweet.
The description of this type of culture will not be complete, if not to say that it is the most thermophilic tropical plant. It grows on the territory of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Central America. In our climate, it does not ripen in open ground conditions. Fruits have an elongated shape, smooth or slightly ribbed surface. The immature pumpkin is green, and the ripe fruit is yellow or brownish.
This variety has a thick pulp and a small seed chamber. Rich in vitamins and carotene. Sugar in this pumpkin is only ten percent. Mainly cultivated varieties such as Turkestan, North American and Japanese.
To understand, pumpkin is a vegetable or fruit, you need to get acquainted with this crop. For example, Mexico is considered the birthplace of pumpkins. There are the following varieties of it:
- Spray. These are zucchini, zucchini, eggplant. They have long been known in Europe, came to us from the Mediterranean countries. They are used exclusively in the immature form. In ripe fruit juicy pulp is lost and the crust stiffens, hence the name. The plant bush is very convenient in processing.
- Longslip. A special feature of this type of sturdier gourd is the ability to tie many fruits of small size. Rarely encountered.
- Decorative. This pumpkin is grown to decorate gardens. It is a ritual object among the peoples of Mexico and South America. It can grow in the form of striped balls, spotted pears or miniature copies of other fruits.
Vegetable or fruit in terms of terminology
If we refer to the definitions and terms, then the word "vegetable" botanists and chefs may mean completely different things. Scientists consider the vegetables of the culture to be eaten by any part of the plant (for example, a root crop or a tuber). Edible juicy fruits of plants botanist scientists refer to fruits or berries. At the same time, the latter include fruits that contain a large number of seeds inside, including various pumpkin seeds.
Cooks and gardeners, using the terms berry, vegetable, or fruit, do not always pay attention to the meaning put into this term by scientists, therefore vegetables, in addition to the roots, leaves and stems, are called the edible fruits of some plants. Most people also prefer not to delve into the scientific subtleties and use culinary terms. In cooking, all non-sweet parts of plants, including fruits, are considered vegetables, therefore most people also include pumpkin in this category.
Interesting! Tomato and cucumber are considered to be vegetables, although according to scientific terminology they should be classified as fruits or berries.
It is worth understanding what the berry is from the point of view of botanists and culinary specialists. Far from botany, people are used to allocating berries not in structure, but in size and properties. Practically all small and juicy fruits, regardless of their structure, are usually referred to them. For example, gooseberries and currants are real berries, and in their case botanists and culinary experts at the same time, but such fruits as strawberries and cherries, which are all called berries, are not really such.
Botanists include fruits with juicy pulp, thin shell and hard bones inside the berries. In fact, a pumpkin is a berry, because its fruit fully fits the description proposed by scientists. But to hear in everyday life that a pumpkin, watermelon, melon or other large fruit was called a scientific term is almost impossible. For plants of the Pumpkin botanical family, they proposed their own name - pumpkin, which is actively used not only for pumpkin, but also for cucumber, zucchini, squash, melon, watermelon, and other species.
What are pumpkins
The formed pumpkins are extremely diverse in shape and color, but their structure is similar. Most often in the fields, gardens and gardens, you can find the following types of pumpkin:
- Hardened (ordinary),
- Fig leafy,
- Dish (Lagenariya).
Interesting! Smelly gourd forms not only pumpkin, but also underground roots, rich in starch and nutrients.
On the basis of these species, many varieties and hybrids are bred. Pumpkin are very different from each other in:
- The thickness of the peel,
- The size of the fruit,
- Coloring peels and flesh,
- The thickness of the pulp,
- Taste characteristics
- The presence or absence of a shell in the seed.
In a separate group is to provide varieties with decorative fruits. Their pumpkin looks unusual and even exotic. They are unsuitable for food, with rare exceptions, but on the other hand they can decorate a plot, an arbor or a winter table.
Pumpkin can be called a truly universal plant. Its fruits can be used for almost any dish, become a plate for a culinary masterpiece or a vessel for water, and decorative qualities deserve a separate theme. But the main advantage of this whether a vegetable, or fruit is a useful composition of the pulp.