Is a Tomato Fruit or Vegetable? (Yes or No)

It’s a very hot summer day. You are hungry and trying to find something to eat. Either fruits or vegetables would be a good idea to fill your stomach. That is why you decide to open the fridge, and there you can see a tomato. But is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? That is a very common and often asked question, not only by kids but everyone. In this article, you are going to find out the solution to the problem.

Are Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable

Fruits and vegetables are very similar to each other. So is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

From the botanical point of view, fruits consist of the germ cells of plants. On the other hand, vegetables consist of different plant parts, such as stems, leaves, or roots. So the answer to whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable is not very simple. Tomatoes are part of the family of fruit vegetables. They are in the middle between fruits and vegetables. Fruits are fruits, that is, the edible parts of pollinated flowers.

As a rule, fruit plants are perennial. On the other hand, in the case of vegetables, other parts of the plant than the fruits are eaten. Vegetables are usually annual. In addition, they have significantly less sugar than, for example, apples or cherries. That is why tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, and aubergines are fruit vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are very similar to each other. They are both healthy because they contain vitamins, fiber, minerals, and other healthy ingredients. They help to stay fit and protect your immune system and health. Consuming many different types of fruits and vegetables ensures that you eat all those good nutrients. No matter if fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are definitely healthy!

The Confusion Surrounding The Question of Whether Tomatoes Are Fruits or Vegetables

Why are we still wondering if tomatoes are fruits or vegetables? Where does this confusion come from? ‘Fruit’ serves as a collective name for sugary edible fruits.

‘Vegetables’ is the collective name for all other edible parts of plants. In everyday life, tomato is often regarded as a vegetable, but we only consume the fruit. This creates confusion.

Are tomatoes now fruits or vegetables? The answer to this question depends on which perspective one approaches this topic. Below, read all the views and answers in the discussion about whether tomatoes belong to fruits or vegetables.

Historically: Tomatoes are vegetables

The question of whether tomatoes are fruit or vegetables has always been asked. In the US, this age-old discussion was even decided by a court. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled that tomato was considered a vegetable before US law. The lawsuit was filed by an importer who refused to pay import duties on his tomatoes. At that time, customs duties were levied on vegetables but not on fruits. To the imprudence of the importer, the court decided that tomatoes are vegetables. Some people see this as a definitive answer to the question of whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables.


From a cultural point of view, you can see how we usually talk about tomatoes. Are we talking about tomatoes or fruits or vegetables? And how do we deal with tomatoes in everyday life? From a cultural point of view, we can consider tomatoes as vegetables. We call tomatoes more often than vegetables, more rarely than fruits. In the supermarket, tomatoes are usually found in the vegetable department, the other vegetables.

In horticulture, tomatoes are vegetables:

How does horticulture looks at the question, whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables? In horticulture, fruits and vegetables are distinguished as follows:
– Everything that grows on herbaceous plants is vegetables.
– Everything that grows on woody plants is fruit.
In horticulture, the tomato is therefore considered vegetables, not as fruit. Tomatoes grow on a herbaceous plant and not on a woody plant.
Another horticultural argument that tomatoes are vegetables, not fruits, is that tomatoes grow on a one-year-old plant. In vegetable growing, the plant dies after cultivation. This is also the case with tomatoes.

Botanically, the tomato is a fruit.

Both ‘fruits’ and ‘vegetables’ are not botanical names. “Fruit” always refers to a fruit or false fruit of a plant, while “vegetables” can refer to all edible parts of a plant. Botanically, fruits, flowers, leaves, and stems all belong to vegetables. In botany, tomatoes are best described as a fruit, not as a crop or vegetable.

Food Science: Tomatoes are vegetables

In the kitchen, a distinction is made between fruits and vegetables based on the time when they are eaten:
– Everything that is eaten as a starter or main dish is vegetables.
– Everything eaten as dessert is fruit.
Are tomatoes then fruits or vegetables? Although you can eat tomatoes at any time of the day, we mostly use tomatoes for starters or main dishes. From the perspective of food science, tomatoes are therefore clearly vegetables.

Are tomatoes fruits or vegetables? The final answer.

As mentioned earlier, tomatoes are all about the healthy nutrients they offer, whether we call them fruits or vegetables. Above, you could read that you can view the discussion of whether tomatoes are fruit or vegetables from many angles. Therefore, a wonderful term for our delicious and healthy products was invented: fruit vegetables!

The fruit vegetables are fruits and vegetables, which due to their growth characteristics and their taste, could not be classified exactly in one of the two groups. They are called fruit vegetables to solve the confusion between the two groups. In addition to tomato, the fruit vegetables are listed below:

  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Melons
  • Peppers
  • Legumes
  • Pumpkins
  • Zucchinis

The above-mentioned fruits are often counted among the vegetable varieties but technically are not all vegetable forms, just as melons are not real fruits. Therefore, the generic term for the fruit vegetable has been developed to refer to fruits that are used as a vegetable variety or are actually one but are considered a fruit because of their sweetness.

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