Is Pickle a Vegetable or a Fruit?

Is pickle a veggie or a fruit? This is one of the questions that many still do not know the answer to.

In this article, we will dig deep into the world of pickles to determine whether fruit, vegetable, or if it has any other classifications.

What is a Pickle?

It seems like there is no best way to define a pickle as different countries have contrasting definitions. If you go to the States and ask for a pickle, you will be given a cucumber in vinegar. In Korea, you may be handed pickled ginger. In the UK, you’ll be handed a pickled onion. In other countries, you may get a pickled beetroot or a pickled boiled egg.

Therefore, defining a pickle is difficult. For the sake of this article, we will refer to a pickle as a small green cucumber that has been grown to be small for the sake of pickling. They are pickled, kept in a mixture of vinegar and salt to preserve the cucumber and give it a sour taste.

What is a Fruit?

In the study of botany, fruit is a component of a blooming plant that produces seed. The fruit is technically the seed. But not all fruits can be eaten. Not all plants that produce seeds are edible, if you consider all of them collectively.

From a culinary standpoint, a fruit is a piece of edible food that includes seeds. Apples, oranges, pears, and peaches are a few examples. Many foods that we classify as grains or vegetables are actually fruits. Among them are bean pods, which have seeds and develop on blooming plants; as a result, we may classify them as fruits.

What is a Vegetable?

According to the botanical definition, a vegetable is anything that grows on a plant and can be consumed by humans. This includes the entire plant, including leaves, flowers, roots, stems, seeds, and fruits. This means that a plant’s fruit is a vegetable, botanically.
Therefore, any edible portion of a plant is considered a “vegetable.”

However, in culinary, savory fruits such as tomatoes and cucumbers are considered vegetables.

Difference between a Fruit and a Vegetable

Fruits and vegetables are classified both botanically and in culinary, based on which part they come from. Here are their differences:

  1. A fruit develops from a plant’s flower, while the other plant parts are classified as vegetables.
  2. Fruits have seeds, whereas vegetables can have roots, stems, and leaves.
  3. Fruits have a sweet, tart flavor that can be used in desserts or juices, whereas vegetables have a milder, savory flavor that is typically served as a side dish alongside the main course.

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Is Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Cucumbers are classified as fruits by the scientific community, despite many people considering them to be vegetables. This distinction is primarily based on the cucumber’s biological function.

Fruits allow a flower to reproduce botanically. The flower’s ovary yields a fruit containing the seed that will later grow into new plants. Cucumbers are made up of lots of seeds that can be utilized to create new cucumber generations.

From the culinary perspective, cucumbers are usually referred to as vegetables due to their savory taste. When grown properly, they have a unique and delicious sweetness to them.

Is Cucumber a Berry?

We should probably start by defining what a berry is. It is a luscious fruit that originates from a single flower with one ovary and has no stone. Grapes, currants, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, and bananas are all berries, except for strawberries and raspberries, which are botanically not berries.

In culinary, a berry is a fleshy fruit that does not have a pit. In this category, strawberries qualify as berries, but the definition also includes tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers.

A “berry,” in layman’s terms, is any little edible fruit. Berries are usually delicious, spherical, colorful, tasty or sour, and do not have a stone or pit in them.

Is a Pickle the Same as a Cucumber?

Pickles, especially in this context, are cucumbers. That is, they are cucumbers first before they are pickled to become the sour green snack everybody knows and loves. However, it’s vital to understand that the name “pickle” refers to any pickled dish, including pickled onions, pickled ginger, and pickled eggs.

So, while not all pickles are cucumbers, they can all be converted into pickles. So, not all pickles are cucumbers, but all cucumbers can be made into pickles.

That said, if you ask for a pickle in the United States, you will most certainly receive a small pickled cucumber. In other countries, you might be offered pickled vegetables, pickled fruit, or even pickled eggs. If you would like to request pickled cucumbers in most countries, ask for gherkins. That’s what they are commonly known as.

How are Pickles Made?

Have you ever been curious about the origins of any kind of pickles? Think about this for a moment, do pickles grow on trees? Have you ever seen a pickle bush before?

Pickles are exclusively made of cucumbers, although not all pickles are cucumbers. Vinegar is then added to the cucumbers. After water, vinegar accounts for the majority of the pickle juice. It contributes to the sour flavor of the pickles. And to decide whether or not a pickle is a fruit, you should know whether a fruit changes botanically when pickled. It does not change regardless of the preparation method.


This article has taken us on a wild excursion with botanical and culinary meanings. Maybe you are still wondering whether a pickle is a vegetable or a fruit. It is difficult to say definitively whether a pickle is a fruit. In reality, a pickle could be considered a fruit, a vegetable, or even a berry, depending on your point of view. You can still see it as all three.

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