"Alaska wild berries" by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
T (age 17, looking at a plate of chocolate chip muffins) -We should start making blueberry muffins for breakfast.
E (age 10) - I don't like blueberries.
A (age 13) - I like strawberry muffins.
E (age 10) - I don't like strawberry muffins.
T (age 17) - What kind of berry muffins do you like?
E (age 10) - I don't like berry muffins. I only like chocolate chips.
D (age 11) - Strawberries aren't berries. Mom can you look that up? Is that right?
Me (Sitting across the room at my computer, with a cup of coffee, and toast, instead of a muffin) - I'm thinking you know that's right or you wouldn't have said it. (Typing in the search "are strawberries berries?" and reading the result).
Strawberries and raspberries aren't really berries in the botanical sense. They are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds.Feb 25, 2014
Bananas Are Berries? - Stanford Magazine - Article
Me - Bananas are berries?
C and E (ages 8 and 10) - Bananaberries? That's funny.
T (age 17) - What do you mean berries aren't berries? Then why do we call them that? Who even names these things?
Me - (typing in a search for "berry", and reading to myself)
In botanical language, a berry is a simple fruit having seeds and pulp produced from a single ovary; the ovary can be inferior or superior.
Examples of botanical berries include:
- Avocado (Persea americana) a one-seeded berry
- Barberry (Berberis; Berberidaceae)
- Bearberry (Arctostaphylos spp.)
- Coffee berries
- Crowberry (Empetrum spp.)
- Currant (Ribes spp.; Grossulariaceae), red, black, and white types
- Elderberry (Sambucus niger; Caprifoliaceae)
- Gooseberry (Ribes spp.; Grossulariaceae)
- Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica)
- Garcinia gummi-gutta, Garcinia mangostana, and Garcinia indica (Vrikshamla)
- Goji berries (Wolfberry)
- Grape, Vitis vinifera
- Honeysuckle: the berries of some species are edible and are called honeyberries, but others are poisonous (Lonicera spp.; Caprifoliaceae)
- Lingonberry/Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
- Mayapple (Podophyllum spp.; Berberidaceae)
- Nannyberry or sheepberry (Viburnum spp.; Caprifoliaceae)
- Oregon-grape (Mahonia aquifolium; Berberidaceae)
- Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), not to be confused with the strawberry (Fragaria)
- Tomato and other species of the family Solanaceae
Me - Okay, so berries include watermelon, pumpkin, bananas, a few actual berries - cranberry, elderberry, gooseberry...oh, and coffee beans! Does that mean my coffee counts as a juice?
T (age 17) - Pass the muffins, please.