What was the “Forbidden Fruit” in the Garden of Eden?


Girl with a pomegranate – William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905)

A popular misconception is that the “forbidden fruit” was an apple, neither the Qur’an or the Bible substantiate this claim. As for what the fruit was, no one really knows but some popular candidates proposed by scholars are the pomegranate, fig, grape, citron, and even wheat. Ironically the latter, which isn’t even a fruit, may well have the strongest claim.

Why wheat? Eating the “forbidden fruit” was connected with a harder life, full of toil and tilling the ground. Learning to cultivate wheat was a crucial turning point in Human history, associated with a life of hard work, ploughing the ground, looking after crops, digging and maintaining irrigation channels etc.

Even after grain is harvested, it needs to be cleaned, preserved, ground into flour before finally being baked into bread, made into pasta etc. This involved a lot more work than picking fruit from a tree and requires a lot more knowledge, another feature associated with the forbidden fruit.

Whatever the fruit was, it’s impact on society, religion and culture remains with us. What do you think it was and why?


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