Fruit and Vegetables That Grow Differently: 10 Weird Ways

Author Fine Dining Lovers

August 12, 2016

We are all citizens of the world, we all know about the best Japanese street food and how to make an avocado rose, but a few fundamentals seem to have got lost along the way, like: do peanuts grow on trees? And that's just the start.

Unless expert, most of us remain oblivious as to how many of the products that arrive on our table grow in strange and unusual ways.

Here's a look at some of the most unusual ways in which some of our beloved or common legumes, fruits and vegetables grow.

1. Peanuts – growing underground

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Our favourite bar snack is surprisingly not a nut at all, but a legume, and grows underground. Try growing them at home and you'll find out how easy it is.

2. Cashew nuts – grow on trees as part of a fruit

Photo: © Wikipedia

And if you ever thought that cashews and peanuts were similar, it's not the case at all: technically cashews are the seeds of the cashew 'apple'.

3. Pistachios – seeds that grow on trees

And the pistachio, related to the cashew, is actually a culinary nut and the elongated seed of the fruit that grows on trees. 

4. Cinnamon comes from tree bark

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The warm spice that is synonymous with winter comes from the bark of an evergreen tree. An unusual feature compared to other spices of this type that are typically derived from fruits or seeds.

5. Papaya grow like bananas

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Papaya grow from the trunk of tropical trees. Who would have thought it?

6. Asparagus spears grow from the ground

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Who knows where we thought asparagus comes from: seeing the beautifully arranged bunches at the supermarket we probably imagined some kind of miracle, and yet here the spears stand proud and sharp, poking out of the ground.

7. Chickpeas are more beautiful in their plant form

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They almost seem to be peaches, yet these small fuzzy shells hide the protein–packed legume perfect for making hummus: the chickpea. 

8. Behold the beauty of Amaranth

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Amaranth acts like a grain, but is actually a seed from the amaranth plant, with flowers so beautiful they would make a perfect addition to any terrace.

9. Brussels sprouts grow in clusters

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The much-maligned Brussels sprout is not actually a small cabbage, but the auxiliary bud of a particular variety of cabbage.

10. Capers are in fact flower buds

Capers are the homonymous plant buds that give life to beautiful flowers if not picked before flowering.

Once you’ve managed to get your head around the weird way that capers grow, why not try out some new recipes to which these little buds of saltiness add an extra tang? There are plenty of examples from Italian cuisine, such as steamed Bagnara swordfish and vitello tonnato. Are you brave enough to try capers in your tiramisu? If you’re looking to impress your dinner guests with some quirky food trivia, this article is packed with peanut facts that will definitely help your brain work up an appetite.

Find out 10 commonly confused fruits and vegetables. 


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