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-   -   Only 3 Fruits Native to North America? (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=4602)

rangerdog 07 March 2007 06:30 PM

Only 3 Fruits Native to North America?
 
The other night on the cooking show, Simply Ming, he was making a master sauce using cranberries. He said that there were only three fruits native to North America; the Concord grape, the blueberry, and the cranberry. Sounds mythy to me. I invite you all to help me prove or de-bunk this fishy claim! :)

Dr. Dave 07 March 2007 06:37 PM

Tomatoes? Pumpkins?

And if we are are doing specific varietals, I find it hard to believe that there are not many fruits found worldwide with varietals only found in North America.

And what does "native to" mean? Naturally grown here and only here, or were growing here before someone brought seeds, etc. and planted them here?

Nick Theodorakis 07 March 2007 06:38 PM

Didn't we do this before?

Anyway, there is an American Persimmon and Prickly Pear.

After googling, I found this wikipedia list.

Nick

Sue Bee 07 March 2007 06:39 PM

This site says it's bogus, and lists strawberries, gooseberries and a mysterious "other fruits". Maybe Paw Paws? I also thought that chokecherries were also native to north america.

putitinwriting 07 March 2007 06:40 PM

From what I know, the red mulberry is native to North America.

Beachlife! 07 March 2007 06:40 PM

The Strawberry is from North America too. I think the blueberry is as well.

Brad from Georgia 07 March 2007 06:42 PM

There's the persimmon. Not my favorite fruit, but it is a fruit. Strawberries also grew in pre-Columbian America, though I think they have been crossbred with European varieties. Some tribes ate the fruit of the Opuntia cactus as well. Is the papaya a fruit?

glass papaya 07 March 2007 06:59 PM

The papaya is definitely a fruit. A very tasty one, too.

Wiki on papayas.

Beachlife! 07 March 2007 07:13 PM

Tomatos too, though there is that whole fruit/vegtable argument. What about citris fruits. I'm almost certain that the lemon and or lime were in North America before Columbus as well. Pumpkin is also a fruit though it falls further down on that fruit/vegtable argument than the tomatoe.

glass papaya 07 March 2007 07:28 PM

Oh yes, thimbleberries! Best berries I've ever had. They make an excellent jam too. Unfortunately, they are not commercially cultivated, so they are expensive.

glass "jam is $25 a jar, if I remember correctly, and worth every penny" papaya

jw 07 March 2007 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glass papaya (Post 88473)
Oh yes, thimbleberries! Best berries I've ever had. They make an excellent jam too. Unfortunately, they are not commercially cultivated, so they are expensive.


Never seen or heard of thimbleberries before, although google images has. What's the difference between them and Raspberries?

glass papaya 07 March 2007 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jw (Post 88506)
Never seen or heard of thimbleberries before, although google images has. What's the difference between them and Raspberries?


Well, it has been a number of years since I've seen a thimbleberry plant, but as I recall, there are far fewer berries per plant than raspberries. The flavor of a thimbleberry is similar to a raspberry, but it's much more intense...fuller...it's hard to describe. A raspberry is kind of watery-flavored in comparison.

tagurit 07 March 2007 11:57 PM

I'm pretty sure thimbleberries are a variety of raspberry. I pick all sort of raspberries and make seedless jelly from them.

ETA: As I recall, thimbleberries are the ones that fall apart easily when you pick them, especially if they're overripe.

ganzfeld 08 March 2007 12:14 AM

Black Raspberry (sometimes mistakenly called a blackberry)
Several kinds of crab apple
Squash (well, this is the same as pumpkin...)

ganzfeld 08 March 2007 12:20 AM

Avocado
And how could we forget cacao?

ganzfeld 08 March 2007 12:24 AM

Persimmon and strawberry species are not all native to North America but some are.

Beachlife! 08 March 2007 12:48 AM

I have a book on New World foods. It lists: Avocado, blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, star apple, capuli cherry, chokecherry, cranberry, currants, custard apple, goldenberry, gooseberry, some varieties of grape, guava, hog plum, tomatillo, mammee apple, naranjilla, papaya, passion fruit, pawpaw, persimmon, pineapple, pricky pear, pumpkin, raspberry, squash, strawberry, surinam cherry, and tomato.

There are probably other fruits that I didn't recognize as a fruit by name.

Beachlife! 08 March 2007 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 88821)
Persimmon and strawberry species are not all native to North America but some are.

According to my book, that's correct about the persimmon, but the Strawberry is entirely a new world food. This is in line with what I've read in other sources as well.

Beach...how'd they flavor their icecream before the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry of the new world....Life!

ganzfeld 08 March 2007 01:04 AM

When I see prickly pear on the list, it makes me wonder if there are not several other cactus fruits that could be added. For example, Dragon fruit is native to North and South America.

Oceanic Aura 08 March 2007 01:34 AM

Quote:

Tomatos too, though there is that whole fruit/vegtable argument. What about citris fruits. I'm almost certain that the lemon and or lime were in North America before Columbus as well. Pumpkin is also a fruit though it falls further down on that fruit/vegtable argument than the tomatoe.
Vegetable is purely a culinary term, it's not used as any kind of designation botanically.

I have heard this before, but the version I'm familiar with states that they are the only berries native to North America, not the only fruits, which I could see people buying into if only because not many are familiar with the botanical definition of a berry.

Anyway, the vast majority of plants in this world are flowering, and thus fruiting. It might not fit our traditional notions of fruit, but fruit it be none the less. Suggesting that there are only three native fruits in the entire North American continent would be the same as saying there are only three native flowers!

Quote:

Black Raspberry (sometimes mistakenly called a blackberry)
We call them dewberries in Georgia, and they are deeeeeelicious. Best pancakes you'll ever have.


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