Despite our familiarity with the items we buy at the grocery store, many people do not know what the process involved in cultivating some our favorite fruits and nuts is like.
Take this photo for example:
Can you guess what this is? I bet you’ve even eaten one of these today!
Click NEXT to see the answer
The banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa.
How about this one? Do you know what it is?
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The pistachio, a member of the cashew family, is a small tree originating from Central Asia and the Middle East. The tree produces seeds that are widely consumed as food.
Keep going to see more
It’s a common misconception that this legume is grown in trees when it’s actually grown in the ground. Can you guess what it is?
Do you know what it is?
Can you tell from this image?
The peanut, also known as the groundnut and the goober and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds.
This fruit is grown during the cold season. It’s typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. Can you guess what it is?
The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and California, by Spanish settlers, in 1769.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
This item is one of the most common spices and is used in cuisines around the world. As a result is the most traded spice in the world.
Can you guess what it is?
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning.
Black pepper is native to south India and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world’s Piper nigrum crop as of 2013.
There are three main varities of this bean, Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. Do you know what it is?
Here’s a close up of the unprocessed product:
This is probably one of your favorite foods! Click NEXT to see what it is.
Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20° to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa. The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, who called it Theobroma (“food of the gods”) cacao.
This fruit is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh.
Can you guess what it is?
The mango is a juicy stone fruit (drupe) belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees, cultivated mostly for edible fruit. The majority of these species are found in nature as wild mangoes. They all belong to the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to South Asia,from where it has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics.
While other Mangifera species (e.g. horse mango, Mangifera foetida) are also grown on a more localized basis, Mangifera indica—the “common mango” or “Indian mango”—is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions.
This seed is double-wrapped in a toxic, kidney shaped shell that protrudes from a pseudo-fruit. Eating these directly from the plant with no processing is poisonous. When the “raw” variety of this seed is purchased at your grocer it actually is not raw, it is steamed or boiled in order to effectively remove the toxic components of its outer casing.
Do you know what it is?
The cashew tree is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew nut and the cashew apple.
The cashew nut, often simply called a cashew, is widely consumed. The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints. The cashew apple is a light reddish to yellow fruit, whose pulp can be processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink or distilled into liquor.
The species is originally native to northeastern Brazil. Major production of cashews occurs in Vietnam, Nigeria, India, and Ivory Coast.
This one really stumped me, I’ve never taken the time to consider how this seed is grown. This seed comes from a flowing plant where it grows in pods or buns.
Yes, there’s more. Look at this!
Have you figured it out?
Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds. The world harvested 4.2 million metric tonnes of sesame seeds in 2013, with India and China as the largest producers.
This spice comes from an orchid flower. It is native to Mexico, but is now widely grown throughout the tropics.
It grows as a vine, climbing up an existing tree (also called a tutor), pole, or other support.
Can you guess what it is?
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), is translated simply as “little pod”. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs.
This spice is cultivated by growing the tree for two years, then coppicing it – cutting the stems at ground level. The following year, about a dozen new shoots form from the roots, replacing those that were cut.
HINT: It’s got a pretty famous challenge associated with it… Do you know what it is?
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used in both sweet and savoury foods. The term “cinnamon” also refers to its mid-brown colour.
This picture is obvious. I’m not even going to pretend that this one isn’t kind of easy. What’s really neat about this fruit is just the way that this it is grown. I always thought these grew on trees.
You know this one… don’t you?
Yes, It’s Pineapple!
The pineapple is a tropical plant with an edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries, also called pineapples, and the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family.
Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit, possibly flowering in 5-10 months and fruiting in the following six months. Pineapples do not ripen significantly after harvest.
In keeping with the theme of tropical fruit this one is commercially grown on sturdy support structures, as it can produce several tonnes per hectare, more than the rather weak vines can support.
They grow up so fast
Can you guess what fruit I’m talking about?
It’s Kiwi Fruit!
Kiwifruit (often shortened to kiwi) is the name given to the edible berries of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia. The most common cultivar of kiwifruit (‘Hayward’) is oval, about the size of a large egg. It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor. It is a commercial crop in several countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France.
This is something that many people cannot live without and is used to make a drink that is popular all over the world.
The seed that we use comes from this cherry
In its raw form it looks like this
Can you guess what it is?
A coffee seed, commonly called coffee bean, is a seed of the coffee plant, and is the source for coffee. It is the pit inside the red or purple fruit often referred to as a cherry. Even though the coffee beans are seeds, they are referred to as “beans” because of their resemblance to true beans.
The two most economically important varieties of coffee plant are the Arabica and the Robusta; 75–80% of the coffee produced worldwide is Arabica and 20% is Robusta. Arabica beans consist of 0.8–1.4% caffeine and Robusta beans consist of 1.7–4% caffeine. As coffee is one of the world’s most widely consumed beverages, coffee beans are a major cash crop and an important export product, counting for over 50% of some developing nations’ foreign exchange earnings.
This flower produces one of the world’s most costly spices.
I once bought this spice then was too afraid to use too much of it in my recipe because it was so expensive. Have you ever used this spice? Click next to find out.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. Saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are the distal end of a carpel. The styles and stigmas, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, is native to Southwest Asia and was probably first cultivated in or near Greece. As a genetically monomorphic clone, it was slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.
This vegetable is part of the same cultivar group as cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and kohlrabi – which were all selectively bread from the wild sea cabbage. My parents think these are delicious, I however, do not agree.
Click next to see what veggie this is.
It’s Brussels Sprouts
The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages (Brassica oleracea), grown for its edible buds.
The leafy green vegetables are typically 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) in diameter and look like miniature cabbages. The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated and gained its name there.
This tree nut is more closely related to almonds than it is to other nuts, as a result many people who are allergic to nuts can consume these.
Do you know what they are?
The almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus) is a species of tree native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa.
“Almond” is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree. Within the genus Prunus, it is classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by corrugations on the shell (endocarp) surrounding the seed.
The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed, which is not a true nut, inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are sold shelled or unshelled. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.