Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable

This is an age-old dilemma that practically every person in the world heard at some point:

 Is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?

Yet, in spite of the frequency of this issue, people are rarely completely sure if this plant one or the other. Here is the ultimate answer to this dilemma once and for all.

Basically, from the perspective of science and biology, a tomato is a plant that is in the family of fruits. The confusion about this stems from the difference in the way science labels fruits and vegetables and the way cooks do when making meals. But, what does make tomato plant a fruit?

Like all other members of this plant family, tomatoes are developed from the ovary that is located in the base of the plant’s flower. Like fruit, tomatoes hold the seeds of the same plants and in this way, they are biologically speaking completely the same as oranges, blueberries, and apples.

In all of these, the outer meat of the fruit is the nutrition deposit that helps the seed grow once it falls off from the plant and gets onto the ground. So, from a scientific standpoint, tomatoes are definitely fruits.

Cooking standards broken

However, when it comes to cooking, the term “vegetable” is applied to dishes and meals where the plants are used in a savory manner, not for sweet cooking. In this category, things like celery stalks and cabbage leaves are used and these are simply parts of the plants, not their fruit.

In cooking, fruit is a label associated with those plants whose fruit comes with a higher level of natural sugars.

These are mainly fruits of trees, like apples or peaches, and also bushes, like strawberries and other similar plant species. The high sugar content makes them sweeter, so for example, apples are associated more with sweet dishes than tomatoes, which have a lot less sugar and thus are primarily used in savory foods.

Science behind the question
In spite of the culinary terminology, the science behind the question is a tomato a fruit or vegetable is clear – tomato is unquestionably a fruit.

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