Fruit is beautiful, delicious and good for you. Fruit is also interesting. Here is a brief collection of fun facts about fruit.
Strawberries are actually flowering plants that belong to the rose family. When strawberries first became commercial products, the plants were cultivated in straw. Many think that's where they got their name.
Strawberries are not really berries at all. They are the enlarged receptacle of a flower.
If you bite into an apple you would expect to find the "seeds" inside. With the strawberry, the "seeds" are on the outside. Actually, strawberry seeds aren't really seeds. They are 'achenes', which are actually tiny fruits that contain seeds.
The strawberry was first cultivated in Brittany, France almost 300 years ago, however ancient herbiaries list strawberries as a medicinal cure as early as the 13th century.
The European cantaloupe and the American cantaloupe, are both cantaloupe but they are totally different fruits. The European cantaloupe has a smooth gray-green skin while the American cantaloupe has a tough net-like skin.
Cantaloupe originated in ancient times in India and Africa but soon found their way to Europe.
Cantaloupe is named for the papal gardens of Cantaloupe, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown.
Cantaloupe was first introduced to North America by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1494.
Cantaloupe is the most popular melon in the United States.
The honeydew was revered as a sacred food by the ancient Egyptians.
Napoleon and Pope John Paul II both considered Honeydew melons their favorite fruit.
Honeydews were first cultivated in Persia and northern Africa nearly 4,000 years ago, and later by ancient Greeks and Romans. Introduced to western and northern Europe during the Middle Ages, melons were harvested by the Spaniards and later the French and British. Christopher Columbus brought over the first honeydew seeds to North America on his second expedition. The honeydew melon was introduced to California by Spanish missionaries in 1683.
Honeydew is the American name for the cultivar White Antibes that has been grown for many years in southern France and Algeria.
The honeydew is considered the sweetest melon.
A pineapple is not an "apple" it is actually a berry.
Each pineapple plant only produces one pineapple per year.
Most fruits develop in 3 to 4 months, but it takes about 18 months to two years for a pineapple to grow to its full size.
The name "pineapple" came from European explorers who thought the fruit looked like a pinecone with flesh like an apple.
Canned pineapple was first made in 1901 but wasn't widely available until engineer Henry Ginaca invented a machine in 1911 that could remove the outer shell, inner core and both ends of 100 pineapples in less than a minute! This machine, known as the "Ginaca machine", is still used in pineapple canneries today.
You can't put fresh pineapple in Jell-O because the bromelain content prevents gelatin from setting. Canned pineapple, on the other hand, can be added to Jell-O because the canning process destroys the bromelain.
Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world.
Brazil is the leading orange-producing country in the world while Florida and California together produce nearly 25 billion pounds of oranges each year!
Florida oranges may be greener than California oranges because the night temperatures in Florida are warmer, which causes more chlorophyll to migrate into the peel; they are still ripe and sweet though.
There is more fiber in an orange than in most other fruits and veggies.
Technically the orange is a berry called hesperidium, indicating that the fruit has sections and grows on evergreen trees.
The peels of oranges contain essential oils that are used aromatherapy, cleaning products, and cooking.
Contrary to what most of us think, this fruit was not named for its color. Instead, the word orange comes from a transliteration of the Sanskrit 'naranga', which comes from the Tamil 'naru', which means "fragrant."!
An apple tree will start bearing fruit 8-10 years after it is planted.
Apples are a member of the rose family of plants along with pears, peaches, plums and cherries.
Apples come in all shades of reds, greens and yellows.
The apple is the official state fruit of Washington, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
7500 varieties of apples are grown around the world.
Every American eats 19.6 pounds of apples every year.
The science of apple growing is called pomology.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no mention of an apple as the forbidden fruit in the Bible. It is referred to as "fruit from the Tree of Knowledge" with no specification as to which kind of fruit. It was Hugo van der Goes who first implicated the apple as the forbidden fruit in his 1470 A.D. painting, 'The Fall of Man'. After that, it became popular to depict the apple as the forbidden fruit.