Lemon is the most essential and staple ingredient in our shopping cart whenever we visit the market. It is full of natural tartness, offering a savory taste and aroma to food dishes. Lemon is so common in savory as well as sweet treats that sometimes we even surprise that is lemon a fruit or a vegetable?
It’s quite natural to wonder if lemons are fruits or vegetables when you find lemons in the vegetable section in one superstore and then see it along with fruits in another superstore. So, let’s put everything aside and find out the culinary and botanical facts about lemons.
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Is Lemon A Fruit Or A Vegetable?
Lemon is actually a fruit not a vegetable, more precisely, it’s a citrus fruit just like grapefruit, lime, and orange. It’s texture and tart flavor resembles citrus fruits.
Not only this but lemon is considered a fruit because it is a seed containing structure of a plant developed by the ripening of an ovary.
Moreover, the answer to your question lies in the usage of this little fruit. As, lemons are more commonly used as fruits than vegetables. Their tangy tart flavor and aroma is more common in sweet treats than savory dishes.
If you didn’t understand these facts well, read on! In this article, we will clear all your confusions both in terms of botanically and culinary. So, don’t worry.
Read Also: Is Carrot A Fruit Or A Vegetable?
Why Are Lemons Placed In The Vegetable Section?
It’s only the way of arrangement that you sometimes find lemons in the veggie section in one grocery store while along with fruits in another.
Or, maybe it’s all a matter of usage. For example, many people consider that lemons are vegetables nor fruits, as they go well in savory dishes. While on the other hand, some people considered them more like fruits. And that’s a reason, they arrange them as is.
So, it’s not the criteria to judge whether lemons are fruits or vegetables.
Why Lemon Is A Fruit, Not A Vegetable?
Here’s what you are looking for. So, let’s know why lemon is classified as fruit, not vegetable.
Lemon is a fruit because it contains plenty of seeds, grows from flowers, and are a hybrid of two citrus fruits.
Lemon Bear Seeds
Seeds are something that we notice immediately after cutting a lemon in halves. And there’s no doubt that every lemon contains plenty of seeds. And, it’s the basic difference between fruit and vegetable.
On the other hand, vegetables are the edible parts of plants without seeds, such as stems, roots, and leaves.
So next time, if you find any vegetable having seeds, consider it as a fruit.
Lemon Develops From Flowers
The lemon is a flowering plant producing beautiful white flowers. And these flowers are responsible for producing lemons.
Actually, lemons are developed by the ovaries of lemon flowers. The ovary is a part of the flower containing ovules that turn into seeds after reproduction. Next, the ovary ripens, and we get lemons.
So, if lemons were vegetables, they would be any part of the plant other than flowers.
Lemon Is A Hybrid Of Citrus Fruits
Another reason why lemon is a fruit is that it’s a man-made fruit. Long ago, scientists crossbreed two citrus fruits, sour orange and citron, to get a more flavorful fruit variety.
Therefore, the tangy tartness and juicy flesh of lemon is more like citrus fruits than vegetables.
Lemon Is More Common In Sweets
The lemony flavor is more common in sweet creations than savory treats. The flavor and aroma of lemon zest gives your sweets all they need. Moreover, few drops of lemon juice are enough to enhance the flavor of a dish.
That’s why, in terms of culinary uses, lemon is also classified as fruit rather than fruit.
All the above-explained facts are real indications of why lemon is a fruit, not a vegetable.
Why Lemon Is A Citrus Fruit?
As you already know, lemon is a citrus hybrid of citron and sour orange, so it would be citrus also. But here, we will tell you some reasons why lemon is a citrus fruit to make things more clear.
Firstly, lemons are the member of the Rue or Rutaceae family and belong to the genus Citrus. Lemons grow on trees like all other citrus fruits.
Secondly, the juicy flesh with the natural tart flavor and fragrance of a lemon resembles other citrus cousins such as lime, pomelo, and grapefruit.
Thirdly, lemon has non-edible bitter seeds, and its flesh is divided into juice-filled segments like citrus fruits.
That’s the reasons why lemon is a citrus fruit. So, there’s no more confusion.
Botanically lemons are fruit, not vegetables, but in culinary terms, lemon is a staple ingredient to sweet as well as savory food recipes.
So, take a brief look at various dishes in which lemon is commonly used as a fruit and vegetable.
Read Also: Is Kiwi A Citrus Fruit?
Where Are Lemons Used As Fruit?
Lemon finds a wide range of applications in sweets and desserts that use fruits more often. There are a lot of sweet dishes which only use fruits rather than vegetables, and lemon is one of those fruits.
For example, jams, marmalades, and chutneys are prepared only by fruits. And, lemon jams and condiments are quite popular among people. Moreover, lemon cakes, cheesecakes, pies, muffins, and tarts are also some other lemon products.
The sour lemony flavor with natural tartness gives sweets a nice aroma and a zesty flavor. Besides this, the lemony flavor goes great in candies, ice-creams, and cookies.
Lemon as fruit also wins when it comes to refreshing drinks and beverages. Sweet and sour lemonades are all time favorite and refreshing treats in summer for everyone.
Additionally, lemon frostings, scones, and sweet lemony bites or bars are just out of this world.
Where Are Lemons Used As Vegetable?
Besides sweet creations, lemons also complement well in savory recipes as vegetables. The list of savory lemon recipes never ends, as lemon enhances the overall flavor of savory dishes.
For instance, lemon is used as a vegetable in beef, mutton, chicken, and fish recipes. For me, few drops of lemon juice are magical as they give a dish all it needs. Nothing could be as natural and flavorful as lemon in savory treats.
In addition, soups, sauces, stews, and traditional casseroles are incomplete without lemon. Not only this, but lemon pairs up completely with seafood like scallops, shrimp, oysters, and molluscs.
Lemons are fruits instead of vegetables as they are developed by the ovaries of flowers, have seeds, and are a hybrid of two different citrus fruits.
While in terms of culinary usage, lemons are used both as fruits in condiments, drinks, desserts and as vegetables in sauces, stews, casseroles, and chicken recipes.
Next time, when you visit a superstore, don’t wonder if you find lemons in a veggie section, as it’s only the way of arrangement, not criteria to judge whether a lemon is a fruit or a vegetable.