Words are important. Language evolves and words change. Still — shouldn’t a berry be a berry? No matter the year, the century, the country or the language, shouldn’t a person be confident knowing that something labeled ‘berry’ is actually what the label says?

Nope! Doesn’t happen!

Avacados are technically berries. When I read that, I couldn’t believe it. I looked it up. Then I looked up the definition of a berry. And that’s when I learned that everything I thought I knew about berries was wrong.

According to the scientific definition, a berry is a single, round fleshy fruit with a seed or seeds that’s produced from a single ovary.

So — grapes are berries. So are tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and bananas.

What are NOT berries? Strawberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Mulberries. In spite of their names, none of them are technically berries.

How did things get so screwed up? Who named everything, anyway? And why didn’t they check before getting carried away and coming up with names that were all wrong?

Oh me, oh my!

I’ll never be able to make a loaf of strawberry banana bread again without pictures of avocados floating through my mind. Or raspberry banana bread.

And I’ll feel like a fraud when I slap labels on the loaves because they are labeled as banana bread — not banana-berry bread though bananas are berries — and then the label adds that they have raspberries and strawberries — which are not berries — in them.

And the law says we are supposed to label our food accurately.


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