When we sit down to eat a meal, we don’t often give much thought to what our food looked like before it was farmed and packaged for distribution. We simply enjoy the flavors and then go about our day.
But, if you actually saw how certain foods naturally looked before they were harvested for mass consumption, chances are you’d be quite surprised by their appearance!
Here are 17 pictures of various foods in their natural form. You’re sure to be shocked by a lot of them!
1. Cashews: Many of us are familiar with the cashews that are packaged and sold in stores, but before they’re harvested, they look very different. The kidney-shaped growth on the bottom is the cashew’s shell, and the yellow shape that resembles a squash is known as a “cashew apple.”
2. Peanuts: Lots of people enjoy eating peanuts, but rarely does anyone ever think about what they look like before they hit grocery store shelves. Believe it or not, they actually grow underground in bundles! Although the word “nut” is in their name, they’re technically legumes, which grow in the earth.
3. Asparagus: If you were walking past a field of these crunchy vegetables, you might actually be fooled into thinking they were flowers at first! They grow straight up from the ground, and their tips look like flowers that have yet to bloom.
4. Zucchini: Also known in some parts of the world as a courgette, these root vegetables grow in the ground, and the yellow blossoms are the female flowers of the plant. These are pretty recognizable as a favorite addition to pasta, salad, or even as the base of a vegetarian lasagna.
5. Cucumbers: You might have thought that cucumbers grew in the ground; it’s easy to think that since they look like a lot of other root vegetables. But the truth is that they actually grow hanging from plants. Who knew?
6. Artichokes: Eating artichokes is great because you feel like you have a never-ending supply of the leaves; they’re just so delicious! You’d be surprised to know that when they grow, they look like massive flowers, and the part we consume is only the bud.
7. Butternut squash: Butternut squash is an extremely popular and versatile vegetable that can be made into all sorts of delicious meals. However, they differ from many other types of squashes because they grow on plants instead of in the ground.
8. Brussels sprouts: Do you remember being a young child and thinking Brussels sprouts were gross? It wasn’t until we were adults that many of us realized that they’re actually delicious when prepared properly. What most of us don’t know is that all the tiny sprouts grow on large stalks prior to their harvesting.
9. Nutmeg: If you’ve ever purchased nutmeg from a grocery store, chances are you bought the finely ground kind in the spice aisle. But, believe it or not, it looks very different when it’s growing; you might even mistake it for some type of fruit if you didn’t know any better!
10. Kidney beans: We all know that peas come in pods, but you probably didn’t think any other kind of food did. You’ll be surprised to know that kidney beans also come nicely lined up in their own little pods as well.
11. Quinoa: Quinoa has quickly become a trendy superfood as people all over the world are becoming more interested in eating healthfully. It grows on stalks, but before the seeds can be harvested, they need to be washed thoroughly or else they leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
12. Pineapple: When you picture a pineapple growing, you might imagine it dangling from some sort of tropical tree. But these juicy treats actually come straight from the ground. Depending on which climate you live in, you can grow your own by planting one of the fruits right on top of soil.
13. Lentils: Here’s another tasty food that surprisingly grows in a pod: lentils. They are legumes, like most other types of beans, and they’re extremely high in nutritional value. The next time you see them at the store, pick them up!
14. Dragonfruit: Many people have never tried this exotic fruit, but it is delicious. The vibrant pink rind covers a juicy black-speckled pulp that you can eat by itself or add to a dish. The tree this fruit grows on is also just as unusual as the fruit itself!
15. Saffron: Saffron is one of the tastiest and most expensive seasonings in the world. It comes from the red stigma (the part of the flower where pollen is deposited) of the crocus flower. Once you try it, however, you’ll realize it’s worth the hefty price tag.
16. Chickpeas: You’d never look at this picture and think that these fuzzy green pods are where chickpeas grow. All it takes is a handful of them, and you can whip yourself up some delicious homemade hummus!
17. Black pepper: At first, this picture looks like nothing more than several vines of green grapes. In reality, it’s what black pepper looks like before the fruits are cooked and dried and eventually turned into black peppercorns.
Wow! Who knew that so many of the foods we eat look completely different before they hit our plates? It makes you wonder what other popular foods look like…
Share these unique-looking foods with your friends below!