“Yes” is the short answer to the question of whether or not a tomato is a fruit.
Understandably, there is a bit of confusion surrounding this botanical mystery. Many still scratch their heads over this conundrum. Especially, when science declares something is a fruit but then you see it in the grocery’s vegetable section. So, how does one answer the question: Is tomato a fruit or vegetable?
The quick answer is technical and scientific: Tomatoes are if you ask botanists, the berry-type fruits of the tomato plant. However, it is also widely considered a culinary vegetable almost everywhere else. That is where the confusion lies.
Tomato is a fruit
Scientists categorize the tomato as a berry. Like any other berry or fruit, a tomato grows from the plant’s ovary after fertilization. This fact alone solidifies its defiantioxidant-fruits.comtion as a fruit. This is the same way other fruits, like apples and grapes, are classified.
Tomato as a “culinary vegetable”
On the other hand, aside for extracting tomato juice, tomatoes are rarely used as a fruit. In most kitchens, the tomato is usually served as part of a salad, or a side dish of a meal. This is mostly due to its relatively lower sugar content. This helped it gain its current status as a “culinary vegetable”.
A healthy fruit
There is no denying that the tomato is one of the healthiest fruits around. Eaten either raw or cooked, tomatoes are a good source of different types of vitamins and minerals. It is also a potent source lycopene, the carotene known to be one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. According to some studies, lycopene helps prevent certain types of cancer.
Why there’s confusion
New Jersey, for example, designated the tomato as their state vegetable. Whereas, Tennessee, on the other hand, chose the tomato as their state fruit. In Arkansas, where they seemed to play safe, the state declared the tomato (the local Vine Ripe variety) as the state vegetable and also the state fruit. This declaration gave considerations to both its botanical and culinary categorizations.
In the end, unless the classification poses a problem to you, it is alright to believe whichever perspective you choose. The real question we should ask is: How do you pronounce tomato?