Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
February 18, 2008 11:52am CST
Ok, so this isn't a completely new question. What do you think a tomato is, a fruit or a vegetable and do you have anything to back it up?
19 Mar 08
Although it's actually a fruit, I think I'm probably like most people in that I think of it as a vegetable. This is probably because it tends to be used in savoury rather than sweet dishes. The best way to eat tomatoes is definately sun warmed and straight from the vine. Fresh tomatoes are too good to cook!
4 Mar 08
Hi turquoise_ice, All the responses which state that tomato is a fruit are correct, because a tomato is the seed-bearing fruit of the tomato plant. That's pretty much the definition of fruit - it's the seed-bearing part of a plant. It's a botanical definition, but it's still a good one. Simple, easy, unambiguous. The trouble with the implied dichotomy of fruit or vegetable is that it isn't. A dichotomy consists of two mutually defined and exclusive parts, but in reality whether something is a fruit and whether it is a vegetable have nothing to do with each other. "Fruit" is a botanical definition, a technical definition of the origin of the item, so to speak. But "vegetable" is determined by the accepted usage of a plant - generally relating to the tradition of cooking it, or otherwise including it in meals with meat and grains and bread and cheese. For example, we normally think of pumpkins as vegetables, because we generally cook them and eat them as part of a main meal. But pumpkins are fruits - just cut one open and look at all the seeds. A pumpkin develops from the flower of the pumpkin vine, just like any fruit develops from a flower. Same for capsicums, and chillis, and peppers, and squash, and any other plant item that has developed from a flower and contains seeds. That doesn't mean that a navel orange is NOT a fruit because it doesn't have any seeds. It came from a flower, and is supposed to have seeds, but they've been engineered out of the equation for human convenience. A navel orange is still a fruit. So a tomato is indeed a fruit. But it's also a vegetable, because that's how we use it. It's a fruit, and it's a vegetable, just like a pumpkin or a squash or a capsicum. It's both, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.