is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?

mindyourbeeswax asks: is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?
If you are in the U.S. it is -legally a vegetable. In 1878 , the case Nix v. Hayden, the Supreme court ruled that a tomato is a vegetable (not a fruit—which had lower tax levees at the time). This ruling was based soley on taste…and has never been overturned.
Us horticulturists, of course recognize that anything that comes from an ovary to be a fruit…..while vegetables are strctly leaves and stems.
So with that said, are you ready to aknowledge that a pepper, cucumber , and green bean are also fruits?
If not….then a tomato is a vegetable.
growing on a vine has nothing to do with being a fruit. Not everything that has seeds is a fruit.
what is used to determine the difference is this
does it mature from an ovary(flower)? =fruit
leave.root or stem= vegetable

The answer voted best is:

Answer by Jj
both.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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7 comments

  1. If it’s got seeds in it, it is a fruit from a botanist’s viewpoint. Lawyers can say what they want.

  2. ALL Fruits have seeds. After that, the subject becomes murky.

    However, this is not such an easy question. Consider that in Oklahoma, the official State Vegetable is Watermelon.

    The USDA agrees. Watermelons are planted with seeds, then picked the same way you would pick Potatoes, Broccoli or Lettuce.

    In 1893 Nix v. Hedden decided that Tomatoes are Vegetables for tax purposes. You didn’t mention that Ronald Reagan’s USDA agreed by classifying Tomato Ketchup as a Vegetable to shave off $ 1 billion from federal school lunch subsidies, along with Pickles and later Salsa.

    Organic Gardening Magazine weighs in on the semantics of fruits and vegetables:

    “Common garden “vegetables” that are actually fruit, include cucumbers, squash, peppers, and yes, tomatoes. Vegetables encompass all other edible parts of a plant that aren’t fruit, including roots, tubers, stems, and leaves. Potatoes, carrots, greens, fennel bulbs, and onions are examples of real vegetables.”

    Then there’s Suite 101’s layperson opinion: “The big question to ask is, DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, you have a FRUIT. This, of course, makes your Tomato a Fruit. It also makes Cucumbers, Squash, Green Beans and Walnuts all Fruits as well. VEGETABLES such as Radishes, Celery, Carrots and Lettuce do NOT have seeds (that are part of what we eat) and so they are grouped as Vegetables.”

    Vegies are generally understood to be edible PLANT PARTS. Roots. Leaves. Tubers. But the “savory” flavor of many true Fruits also renders them Vegetables in the eyes of mothers coast to coast and the children they serve them to. Fruits are sweet enough to be classified as Dessert, although that is not one of the official labels.

    Cucumbers, Squash, Zucchini — who in their right mind would includes these in, say, a Banana Split next to the Strawberries and Bananas? Could you ever glaze these? Ever hear of Zucchini Jubillee? Ending a meal with a delightful Cucumber Flambee? Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

    In fact, although we can botanically identify certain plant parts as “Fruits”, the “Vegetable” is not a scientific concept.

    This is alas a very personal belief, like politics or color preference. And there is no getting around that. Let the Supreme Court and the USDA litigate these definitions. If it doesn’t go with ice cream, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a Vegetable.

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