What is a berry?

So what constitutes a berry? Berries are generally considered any small fruit, but for the pie contest, one can use berries according to the botanical definition or small fruits commonly thought of as berries. Botanically speaking, it’s a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary containing one or more seeds. Examples include:

  • avocadoes
  • bananas & plantains
  • citrus fruits: Buddha’s hands, clementines, etrougs, grapefruit, kinnows, kumquats, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, papedas, pomelos, red finger limes, etc.
  • bearberries, bilberries, blueberries, cranberries, crowberries, goji berries, honeyberries, huckleberries, lingonberries (also known as lowbush cranberries), Serviceberries, watermelon berries
  • cocoa (chocolate!)
  • coffee (roasted coffee berries!)
  • cucumbers (that means pickles!)
  • currants, gooseberries
  • elderberries
  • grapes (wine = fermented grapes)
  • kiwis
  • melons: canteloupes, honeydews, muskmelons, watermelons
  • papayas, pawpaws
  • persimmons
  • squash, winter & summer: butternuts, hubbards, patty pans, pumpkins, yellow summer squash, zucchinis, gourds, etc.
  • Solanaceae family fruit: Cape gooseberries, chiles, eggplants, groundcherries, peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes, etc.

Then there are fruit commonly referred to as berries that are not true berries, such as aggregate or accessory fruits, or just very small drupes. These can include:

  • blackberries, cloudberries, raspberries, salmonberries, etc.
  • highbush cranberries
  • juniper berries
  • mulberries
  • rose hips
  • sloe berries
  • strawberries