Alton Brown Is Obliterating Minds On Twitter With This Stunning 'Culinary Truth'

On August 7, to pass time on a slower Saturday noon, Alton Brown decided to get to the heart of things with a new food-related fact. He had been offline for a couple of days, so it had to be a good one. "#CulinaryTruth Bananas are berries," he tweeted, "strawberries aren't." Like a veritable Starman, he blew minds. "Mind. Blown," wrote Twitter user @Mark_J_Ryan. "I actually knew this but have actively chosen to ignore it," @DarkQueenHelba stated.

The confusion arises from having the word berry in two different contexts. In day-to-day speak, berries are simply gushy, blobby things. Botanically speaking, however, berries are the fleshy fruit produced by the single ovary of a flower with seeds embedded within. Strawberries, as The Kitchn notes, have their seeds on the exterior, so can't be counted as berries. Bananas have seeds close to the center of their flesh tube. Therefore, they are berries.

The fault probably lies with the botanists who decided to repurpose a word that Etymonline dates back to Old English to describe something that the word did not originally mean.

That's not the only shocking strawberry fact

The object we call a strawberry isn't even a real fruit! Carnegie Museums explains that a strawberry is actually a pseudocarp, or a "false fruit" or an accessory fruit. Like the botanic use of "berry," false fruit is playing with definitions that we don't generally use for daily communication. A pseudocarp is the fruit that incorporates part of the flower other than the ovary. For this reason, the Encyclopaedia Britannica also lists apples as an accessory fruit. 

Carnegie Museums goes further, describing how a strawberry is, in fact, multiple fruits. Each speck is actually a fruit with an even smaller seed contained within. Thanks to Alton Brown's tweet, many now know that strawberries aren't berries, but how many people actually know that a strawberry is multiple fruits? Just wait. This factoid is perfect for a mind-blowing future #CulinaryTruth whenever Brown has to pass another Saturday destroying the foundations of one's fruit conceptions.