Do you know the difference between a nut and a seed?
In simple terms, a Nut is actually a tiny, hard shelled fruit, containing a seed, sometimes more than one; a fruit being anything that protects the seed inside it. A fruit does not need to be sweet, fleshy and edible. In the below diagram the pericarp (or husk) is the fruit.
A Seed is a fertilized, undeveloped plant (i.e. plant embryo). A seed can have a seed coat (skin) which might be peeled away or hulled before eating. For example, in blanched almonds.
- A sunflower seed is actually a Nut, because it has a shell (the fruit part), which needs to be removed (hulled / husked) before eating.
- When you eat an almond, walnut or macademia nut, you’re actually eating the seed of the plant. The hard shell, which was the fruit, has already been removed.
- A tomato in botany terms is actually a fruit, but it has been declared a vegetable. In 1893 Supreme Court case Nix v. Hedden, Nix a tomato importer wanted tomatos to be classified as fruit, and Hedden a tax collector wanted it to be declared vegetable, because fruits and vegetables were taxed differently.
pic 1 – http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ecoph8.htm
pic 2 – http://www.azcookbook.com/how-to-skin-raw-almonds/
pic 3 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/biology/world_of_plants/growing_plants/revision/2/