Can You Name All of These Common Vegetables?

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: TMDB or Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Tomatoes? Nope. Sweet corn? Not that either. Americans, you may or may not be surprised to learn, eat more potatoes than any other vegetable available to us -- and mostly we consume fresh or frozen taters, but you can't deny we also enjoy chips. In fact, about 29 pounds of the potatoes we each eat every year are in the form of french fries. Tomatoes -- well, they're an unclose second place. But other than our beloved potatoes and tomatoes, how good are you at guessing which vegetable is what? See if you can figure out what's a tuber versus a squash versus a leafy green.

The average American eats about 124 pounds of potatoes each year. If that sounds like a lot, we're not the country that consumes the most -- in fact, Germans eat about twice as many as we do.

The average American eats about 23 pounds of this fruit each year. Fruit? That's right -- botanically speaking, the tomatoes we eat aren't vegetables.

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in plants such as apples, berries, and red onions -- you'll also find it in red wine. It may be more than a plant pigment, though -- it has the ability to inhibit cancer cells, specifically in breast, colon, endometrial, lung, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Of all the types of onions, red onions have the greatest concentration of the compound.

In the U.S., we know it as corn, although it's called maize in most countries around the world. And though we consider it a vegetable, botanically speaking, it's not -- it's actually a grain.

Did you know that you can fulfill one serving of your daily vegetables by snacking on a handful of baby carrots, or eating one medium-sized (about 6-inches long) carrot? Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C.

There are dozens of kinds of lettuce, but a few are more popular than others in salads across the U.S. -- including this lettuce, Romaine. Also known as cos lettuce, Romaine is used in the famous Caesar salad, but don't overlook trying it grilled, braised, or even in a soup.

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is a member of the cabbage family. And it's a favorite vegetable among Americans -- the average person in the U.S. eats more than four pounds of the stuff every year.

There's more than one color of bell pepper, but they're all the same fruit -- color indicates its ripeness. Green bell peppers are unripe, and aren't as sweet as those that are yellow, orange, or red. When red bell peppers are dried and crushed to a powder, it's called paprika.

Before it was eaten with peanut butter and raisins, celery was considered a medicinal plant, and was used throughout the Middle Ages as a way to relieve conditions such as arthritis, insomnia, and toothaches. It didn't become a classic pairing with the Bloody Mary until the 1960s.

Humans have been cultivating cucumbers for about 4,000 years, for eating as well as for medicinal properties. There are only eight calories in one-half cup of sliced cucumbers -- and that's because cucumbers are 96 percent water (it won't surprise you that they belong to the same family as the watermelon).

There are several types of cabbages, including the popular green and red, as well as one called Napa. Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage, and is known as "Chinese cabbage" in many parts of the world.

Cauliflower, like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, is a cruciferous vegetable. Most are white, but you can also buy cauliflower that's purple or orange, among other colors.

Asparagus makes your urine smell funny (it happens to everyone, but not everyone, it turns out, can smell it -- and lucky them). This plant grows very fast -- in ideal conditions (warm and moist soil), asparagus can grow as much as 6 inches just 24 hours.

The longest zucchini, according to Guinness World Records, measured 8 feet and 3.3 inches lengthwise. It wasn't the heaviest of these summer squash, though. That was set in 1990, to a zucchini that weighed 64 pounds and 8 ounces. And it's not just the fruit that's edible. Zucchini blossoms, too, are edible, and are often eaten battered and fried (and sometimes stuffed).

Like other types of radishes, the Daikon radish is a member of the mustard family. Also known as Japanese horseradish or White radish, Daikon is milder than other radishes, with a sweeter flavor that's eaten raw, cooked, as well as pickled.

They're both called potatoes, but sweet potatoes and others such as Russets or Yukon Gold aren't actually in the same family. Most of the potatoes we eat are tubers, but sweet potatoes aren't -- they're root vegetables, like carrots. Yams, it turns out, aren't the same thing as a sweet potato, although they may appear to be at your local store. Yams are tubers that are common in Africa and in tropical areas.

There are five main kinds of radishes, but the most popular in the U.S. is known as the Red Globe variety. It's red on the outside, white on the inside, and usually small and round -- and adds a crunchy, peppery bite to your salad.

Artichokes are members of the thistle group, part of the sunflower family -- in fact, when you eat an artichoke, you're eating a flower. To choose a good one at the store, look for two things: it should feel heavy for its size, and it should squeak when you give it a gentle squeeze.

Parsnips look a lot like carrots, don't they? It's not coincidence. The two are both root vegetables -- it's not just a matter of color difference. There was a time when people believed eating parsnips could ease tired feet or relieve a toothache: it doesn't help either, we know today.

Peas, including snap peas, are legumes, like peanuts and lentils. Sugar snap peas aren't meant to be shelled. They're a cross between English peas -- the kind we eat unshelled, and Chinese snow peas -- which has an edible pea pod.

It's the capsaicin that makes these peppers hot, but it's not the seeds that will get you -- the heat is actually in the veins around the seeds. Remove the veins and the seeds for a less-spicy pepper. In addition, if you leave your jalapeños on the vine until they turn red, then harvest and smoke-dry them, you've got chipotle peppers.

Green beans are sometimes called by other names, such as string beans and French beans. There are two basic types of beans -- those that grow on a bush, and those that grow on a climbing vine.

You might know it best in cookies or cakes, but ginger is a common natural remedy for nausea. It can be consumed fresh, as tea or as juice, dried, powered, or even as crystalized candies. More research is needed, but ginger may also fight inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, as well as help control blood sugar levels.

Did you know scallions and green onions are actually the same thing? What you call them just depends on​ where you live. They aren't the same thing as spring onions, though, which look a lot like scallions but with a small onion bulb at the bottom. And chives? They're a different species.

As many as 85 percent of the Brussels sprouts cultivated in the U.S. are for our frozen foods (the remaining 15 percent or so is sold as fresh vegetables). In 2008, a Heinz survey found that these tiny cabbages were the most-hated vegetable in America.

Butternut squash may be a staple on many Thanksgiving tables, but it wasn't introduced to Americans, at least not commercially, until the mid-1940s. Similar to a pumpkin, butternut squash is a hard-skinned winter squash with an orange, fleshy inside -- in fact, you could substitute it for pumpkin in recipes, it's that similar.

Leeks have a mild, onion-like taste, which isn't a suprise since they're part of the same genus, Allium, as onions, shallots, and garlic. Throughout history, leeks have also been considered medicinal -- they were used to treat nosebleeds among the ancient Grecians, for instance. In addition, the Roman emperor Nero believed eating leeks improved his singing abilities. And during the Middle Ages, girls would sleep with leeks under their pillows to dream of their future husbands on the eve of St. David's Day.

Unlike other vegetables that wither in the winter weather, kale continues to produce long into the winter season. In addition, it's known to be sweeter if it has been through a frost.

You may not know it if you've only eaten rhubarb in a pie, but the stalks aren't naturally sweet -- in fact, they're pretty harsh tasting. When it comes to rhubarb, the redder the stalks, the sweeter the rhubarb. Don't eat the leaves, though -- the oxalic acid in them is poisonous!

When it comes to the turnip, it's not just the flesh that can be cooked and eaten -- the greens, which taste like mustard, can be eaten cooked or fresh. This root vegetable isn't just known for its side dish appeal. The very first Jack-O-Lanterns were originally made out of turnips, in Ireland.

While it won't ward off vampires, garlic may help you ward off certain health conditions, including heart disease and some cancers. Not too shabby, then, that the average American consumes about two pounds, or about 302 cloves, of garlic each year.

Radicchio (which is pronounced as ra-DEE-kyoh) has a spicy and bitter flavor, and a red-leafed cabbage-like head. It's Also known as Italian chicory, because it has been cultivated there for centuries, but wasn't commercially grown in the U.S. until 1981, in California.

Did you know if you consume beets or drink beet juice, your urine may turn red? It's a phenomenon caused by betalain pigments in the beets, which are excreted but not broken down. Betalains are also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and are beneficial for detoxification.

Known in many countries as "ladies' fingers," okra, it may surprise you to learn, is related to cotton, hibiscus, and even to cocoa. The best way to handle okra is to leave it alone until just before you use it -- wash it too early or cut it too much, and the slimier your okra will be. Oh, and the best way to store your okra to keep it the longest? In the freezer.

Almost 90 percent of onions grown in the U.S. are yellow onions. They're the most versatile onion, adding both sweet and astringent flavors depending on how they're prepared. Yellow onions are also easy to store as long as you keep them in a cool, dry place -- in fact, the longer you store them, the sharper their flavor will become.

The rutabaga, a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, is a winter crop. Botanically, it's actually a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, with a flavor similar to, yet milder, than a turnip.

Jicama, also known as the "yam bean" or the "Mexican turnip," is a crunchy, white root vegetable that you may recognize from salads or slaws -- and its mild flavor has been described as a savory apple or similar to a water chestnut. It's a bit like a potato or a pear on the inside when it comes to texture, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

More than 1.5 billion pounds of this orange squash are produced in the U.S. every year -- mainly in California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- but there's more to the pumpkin than carving them into jack-o’-lanterns. Or pumpkin pie. Or soups, desserts, breads -- the list goes on. Every part of a pumpkin is edible (including the stem).

They grow in clusters like garlic, but shallots are a type of onion. In fact, its mild flavor is similar to a sweet onion with a hint of garlic.

Also known as a Jerusalem artichoke or topinambour, this species of sunflower it grown for its tuber -- the sunchoke. Look for those that are firm when you touch them, as spongy sunchokes are old produce. Additionally, the skin should be clear, with no blemishes or black patches or spots.

Not all lettuce is created equal. And while some may be a great peppery addition to a bowl of mixed greens, others may be more at home with bacon and ranch dressing. Iceberg, compared to other varieties, has very little nutritional value -- yet the average American consumes 30 pounds of Iceberg every year. In fact, it's the most popular and commonly grown type of lettuce in the United States.

Kohlrabi tastes similar to a broccoli stem, has the consistency of an apple, and looks a little like a radish. You'll find purple or green varieties, both with white flesh inside. And while it's grown as feed for livestock, it's good for you, too.

Also known as aubergine, the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family -- that's the same family as tomatoes. In fact, like a tomato, an eggplant isn't actually a vegetable. It's a fruit, and is considered, botanically, a berry.

Like the tomato which it resembles, the tomatillo, also called a jamberry, is a member of the the nightshade family. But Tomatillos aren't the same as green, unripe tomatoes. This fruit, which is covered in a papery husk, is a staple in Mexican cuisine, and cultivation of the plant dates back to the pre-Columbian era.

When it comes to longevity, cabbage has it -- it's been cultivated for more than 6,000 years, longer than any other vegetable that we know of. And when it comes to nutritional value, red cabbage has twice as much iron as green cabbage varieties, and as much as 10 times more vitamin A.

Romanesco is an edible flower bud of the plant species called Brassica oleracea. And it's probably the coolest vegetable on this list because it's also a fractal -- each bud on the Romanesco spiral is made up of a series of smaller and smaller buds. When it comes to flavor, the Romanesco can taste similar to broccoli, or like a nutty-flavored cauliflower.

This summer squash, also known as a scallop squash or peter pan squash, looks a lot like a flying saucer. As far as flavor, it tastes very similar to zucchini -- and, it's true, if you roast your pattypan, you can eat the rind.

People once believed taro had healing powers, and used the plant for medicinal purposes. Today, it's grown for both its corm (the underground plant stem) and its greens -- both edible.

Buddha's hand is an aromatic citrus, with little-to-no pulp and no seeds on the inside. Its rind is thick but sweet, without the bitterness that can creep into other citrus rinds.

Named for their resemblance to the end of a violin or other stringed instrument, fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a fern. They're harvested when the plant is young -- left untouched, the fiddlehead would go on to unfurl. When you're harvesting or shopping for fiddleheads, choose those that are small and firm, with no yellowing.

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