Are Mushrooms Vegetables, Fungi, Meat or Fruit?
When it comes to the proper classification of certain varieties., many people immediately put them in the category of . Now, while mushrooms are often cooked with other vegetables, and have some similar , mushrooms are more accurately classified as . Even more specifically, mushrooms are the spore-bearing bodies that grow on
The term vegetable is often used to include edible “plant” parts, but for culinary purposes, most people would consider mushrooms to be in the vegetable group. Fruit is an edible plant part, but it is the seed-bearing of a plant and develops from the enlarged or flower. While mushrooms and serve a similar purpose – distributing seeds/ for further growth – they don’t belong to the same group.
The tricky classification is meat, as many people think of mushrooms as a viable meat replacement. In terms of texture and versatility in different meals, mushrooms do have similarities to meat, including dense protein reserves and key minerals, such as iron. The flavor profile of mushrooms, often described as umami, is also shared by certain types of meat, particularly . That being said, by definition, meat is an animal product, and fungi are not considered animals.
As you can see, mushrooms occupy a versatile and unique space within our diet, even if it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which classification it requires.