Onions are not the only "fruit"


  • Vivaldi Translator


  • Moderator

    Onions aren't a fruit at all. They are a bulb - ie a portion of root that can produce a new plant.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    ;) My botany is not actually that poor (half my family were farmers)

    The original phrase is "Oranges are not the only fruit" (now more often used as a reference to sexual preference)
    It is a play on words. I've put quotes around "fruit" so It may be clearer.



  • Strangely looks like that English lacks the equivalent of the Italian word "ortaggio".

    Which means something that comes from a "market garden", no matter if fruits, bulbs, roots, whatever.

    So onions, eggplants, tomatoes, carrots, lettuces and so on…

    That helps to avoid academic discussions about the matter :)


  • Moderator

    We have a term "produce" (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable unlike the verb to produce which is accented on the last syllable) which covers anything grown to be eaten, from celery to mangos to oranges to mushrooms to potatoes. Even fresh herbs will be found in the produce aisle while spices will be another category.

    In all my life I had not heard the term "market garden" but its exact parallel is "truck garden" which is a garden grown for the local market. A larger version would be called a truck farm - still grown for local consumption. When you get so big the foods you grow are for national or international consumption, then you are into commercial farming.

    I looked up "market garden" and it seems some regions of the US use that term. Learn something every day.



  • @Ayespy:

    I looked up "market garden" and it seems some regions of the US use that term. Learn something every day.

    I heard it too just now. There ends the link starting from the "orto" word on the Italian wikipedia.

    Orto means just a small patch of terrain good to produce some vegetables for a single family, or little more.

    Not a family of farmers, just a normal family who takes it as way to have good, fresh vegetables for internal use.

    Often taken more as an hobby rather than a real need.

    That's the orto, in Italian. Hence "ortaggi" are the vegetables that can be planted there, except the fruits.

    Say the strawberries that can come from an orto, but are called just fruits.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    If it were not for the fact you managed to keep it nerdy, I would be complaining about a thread hijack :P

    I guess in Britain we have only got the collective phrase "Green grocer" and likewise "Greens" is the cover-all term for vegetation.
    "Fruit 'n' Veg" is sort of it really.
    The use of the over-emphasised first syllable in "PrOduce" is an Americanism that has a use to differentiate.
    One is derived from the other, so in my opinion it does not help clarify to non-English speakers.
    If you cannot tell if it is someones accent or an intentional emphasis, it can be misleading without context.
    Depending on where you live and how you speak, pro-duce and prod-uce are exactly the same, unlike the difference between "matrix" and "mAtrix".

    Most farms here work at both local and national level, so the "Market gardens" in the UK are competing with farmers, unless they pick a different crop (which most do).


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