Was a Tomato Ever Considered a Vegetable?

Ashley | 05 - 17 - 2021

Before we jump into whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables, there are few things you should understand.

Few fruits and vegetables are classified differently by botanists and culinarians. Read more to know how botanists and culinarians differentiate between fruits and vegetables.

Botanists classify fruits as fertilized flower ovaries, while vegetables are any other edible part of a plant. Thus for botanists, a fruit is anything that contains seeds, while vegetables may be roots, stems, and leaves of plants.

Tomatoes Are Fruits as per Culinarians
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

On the other hand, culinarians consider anything with a sweet or tart flavor that can be used in desserts, jams, and juices, while vegetables are sober in taste and used in meals.

Tomatoes are the most controversial of all when it comes to classifying tomatoes as fruits or vegetables. Read further to know what are tomatoes classified as:

Why Is Tomato a Fruit and Not a Vegetable?

Why are tomatoes fruits? This has always been a debatable topic for many, and here is why: 

As per the assumptions of botanists, tomatoes are formed by fertilized ovaries of tomato flowers and contain flesh and seeds. At the same time, the dull taste and culinary usage have given it the title of vegetables as per culinarians.

When Was the Tomato Classified As a Fruit?

The US Supreme court passed a law in 1893 classifying tomatoes as vegetables. So, if you go by the law, then tomatoes are vegetables, while if you follow botanists, then tomatoes are fruits. It all depends on perspective.

What Other Fruits and Vegetables Have Confused Identities?

Apart from tomatoes, many other fruits and vegetables have been part of the controversy. Here is a list of fruits that are considered vegetables by the majority:

  • Winter squash
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Olives
  • Pumpkins
  • Peapods
  • Zucchini

Take the quiz now to test your knowledge! Let’s see if you can score 10/10 on this trivia.

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