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Is a Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable?

I write about food all the time, about how important it is to eat your fruits and veggies. Recently I got into a culinary conundrum about what it takes to be a fruit. Is a tomato a fruit? Well, here goes a short explanation: true fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant (though cultivated forms may be seedless). Fruits can be fleshy such as blueberries, bananas, and oranges. They can also be dry like whole almonds and walnuts (in their shell).

Scientifically speaking then, anything containing seeds, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, and bean pods are all considered fruits.

The reason there is so much confusion about whether or not a food is a fruit or a vegetable has to do with the way it's prepared. Vegetables tend to be used in savory dishes, while fruits tend to be used for the sweeter ones.

Vegetables tend to be root crops (potatoes, carrots, beets, and turnips), bulbs (onions and garlic), stems (asparagus), leaves (lettuce and spinach), flowers (broccoli and cabbage).

So to sum it up, there are two different meanings of the word "fruit." A botanist would call a tomato a fruit, but a chef would call it a vegetable.


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Join The Conversation
SU3 SU3 8 years
Fregtable! I like it! :)
amandasunly amandasunly 8 years
I've always called it a vegetable because it's more used for savoury dishes.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 8 years
I just call it 'yummy' ... it's a very versatile little...um...Fregtable.
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