Grapes are probably amongst some of the most popular fruits in the world right now.
Ask any stranger or other person on the street what their favorite type of fruit is, and chances are that a good chunk of people you ask (after being confused for a minute) will answer back with grapes.
And that’s not just us guessing that, either.
When a survey was carried out back in 2021 of the US’s favorite fruits, grapes came back at 3rd palace, behind only bananas and strawberries, and ahead of oranges and even apples (For the best strawberry banana pudding recipes, read here)!
And who couldn’t love them? With how easy they are to carry and store, as well as a uniquely sweet and slightly sour taste, grapes are kind of just built differently!
That sour flavor often leads people to assume that grapes are some kind of citrus fruit, putting them in the same group as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits.
But is that the case? What exactly makes a citrus fruit a citrus fruit? Do grapes meet these standards? And if they don’t what are they?
We’ll answer all these questions, and more, in this guide about our favorite fruit. You might find an answer that surprises you!
What Are Citrus Fruits?
Before we give a clear answer, it’s probably worth understanding what exactly makes experts classify a citrus fruit as… well, a citrus fruit!
That way, we’ll know what qualities to look for when giving a definitive answer!
Citrus fruits have a few main criteria that they have to meet for them to be considered:
- They are usually grown from seeds, creating trees that produce the fruit.
- They need to have a thick rind and pulpy center.
- The rind is also edible, though has a distinct texture to the fruit.
- Their internal make up will usually be segmented into different parts.
- Citrus fruit will have a high acid content in their juice.
- Citrus fruits also usually have some element of sweetness, sour or bitterness to their taste.
Are Grapes A Citrus Fruit?
So, with all that information, how exactly do they compare to citrus fruits? Are they even classified as citrus fruits?
The short answer is: No.
The long answer is that, while there are some similarities between the two, grapes and citrus have a lot more that are different upon closer inspection.
Let’s go over what makes them similar first!
The inside of a grape is quite pulpy like citrus fruits are, especially when compared to other popular fruits, such as apples, bananas, and pineapples.
Plus, grapes usually come in some variety that is either sweet, sour, or bitter, which makes them quite similar when it comes to flavor.
However, that is where the similarities end. From here on, the gap between grapes and oranges and lemons only gets wider!
The first thing that many people will point to is how these fruits are grown. Citrus fruits almost always come from trees, while grapes grow on a type of vine plant.
This means that the plants that they grow from can support their weight, and need some kind of structure to grow around.
When looking at the fruit themselves, they start to look even more distinct from each other. While they both do have pulp, the inside of lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are segmented into small pockets.
This is almost completely different from grapes, where the inside is just pulp, and seeds, with no differentiation.
While grape skin is edible, it is also not nearly as thick as rind is, so is not considered rind.
Plus, the size difference between grapes and citrus fruits is a very clear indication. While some citrus fruits can grow quite small, almost all varieties are much bigger than any kind of grape that you can find out there!
While grapes can be sour, bitter, or sweet in a similar way to fruits like oranges and grapefruits, the after-taste that they leave is very different.
Grapes tend to leave a crisp feeling on the tongue and in the mouth, while citrus fruit flavor tends to sit, as well as a slightly more acidic aftertaste too.
What Are Grapes?
So, if they aren’t citrus fruits, what exactly are grapes then? Where do they come from, and what type of fruit even are they?
Type Of Fruit
Because of their pulpy insides, and lack of pip or stone seed, grapes are considered a type of berry, butting them in the same family of fruit and vegetables as bananas, blueberries, cranberries and cucumbers, and, strangely enough, pumpkins, tomatoes, and currants.
(Interestingly enough, many of the other small, pulpy fruit that we call berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, and mulberries, aren’t considered berries, as they are made of individual segments that are their fruit!)
So, where exactly do grapes come from, if they don’t share a common origin with citrus fruits in South-East Asia?
Grapes originate from the Middle East, where they were grown and cultivated because of their abundance of a single plant, their sweet flavors, as well as their ability to grow in a variety of different soils and climates.
(Just take a look at the sheer variety of places where vineyards have been established across the world, and you’ll see what we mean!)
Eventually, farmers also discovered that yeast could be grown under the skin of a grape, making them ideal for making alcohol, and wine as a result!
From there, wines were slowly grown and cultivated across the world, from Ancient Greece, right across Europe, Asia, and eventually the Americas and Oceania!
Benefits Of Grapes
So, you’ll be pleased to know that eating grapes isn’t just a sweet fruity treat, but also comes with some pretty impressive health benefits too on the side!
- Grapes have a high amount of potassium and flavonols in them, nutrients that can help promote arterial health and lower blood pressure, and a good healthy heart by extension.
- The antioxidants that you can find in grapes give them anti-aging effects on your body too, helping you feel younger for longer!
Frequenty Asked Questions
While citric acid is more commonly associated with citrus fruits (hence the name), you can find a surprisingly high amount of citric acid in grapes too.
Most grapes have a citric acid content of around 5%, giving them their distinctive sour flavor, as well as their ability to be fermented into alcohol.
As we have already mentioned, oranges, clementines, limes, lemons, and grapefruits are all considered citrus fruits, thanks to the qualities that we listed before.
Some fruits that are commonly mistaken for citrus fruits include strawberries and pineapples, often because of their sometimes bitter taste.
However, neither is part of this family of plants.
So, as you can see, grapes are not considered citrus fruits. They might be a little sour and pulpy like your favorite orange variety, but they share very little else in common with them.
But that doesn’t stop them from being some of the tastiest and healthiest natural treats out there!
We hope that this guide has helped make things clearer for you!
- Are Oreos Vegan? - May 26, 2023
- What Is Mutton? - May 26, 2023
- What Does Matcha Taste Like? - May 26, 2023