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Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable?

The answer to this question depends on if you are asking it from a culinary or scientific standpoint?

What is the difference between a Fruit and a Vegetable?

  • Botanical Classification

    • Is based on the structure and function of the part of the plant in question

    • Fruits are classified as being formed from flowers and having seeds that assist with a plants reproduction

    • Vegetables are classified as roots, stems, leaves or other supporting parts of a plant

  • Culinary Classification

    • When it comes to cooking, the classification for fruits and vegetables is very different from how they are classified botanically.

    • Culinary practice classifies fruits and vegetables based on their flavour profiles

    • In general, fruits are softer and sweeter and are ideal for baking, smoothies and jams

      • Not what you use tomatoes for

So When it comes to discussing whether or not a food is considered a fruit or vegetable, it depends largely if it is being talked about on culinary or botanical terms. Culinary classification is based on flavour and recipe application whereas botanical classification is based on the structure and function of the plant

But, according to science, a tomato (also known as by its scientific name lycopersicon lycopersicum) is a fruit because it is formed from a flower and they contain seeds.

Tomatoes are often classified as a vegetable because of their culinary application. They are often paired with other true vegetables in savoury dishes. Because of this, they have earned a reputation as a vegetable even though in terms of science they are a fruit

Did you know?

"The tomato is a member of the nightshade family of plants, which also includes eggplant, goji berries, potatoes, and chili peppers."

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