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Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit?

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Tomatoes

© Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Question: Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit?
Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
Answer: Botanically-speaking, the tomato is a fruit and can be further classified as a berry since it is pulpy and has edible seeds.

Most of us use the tomato as we do vegetables, primarily in savory dishes.

In 1893, an importer claimed the tomato as a fruit in order to avoid vegetable import tariffs imposed by the United States. This dispute led to the Supreme Court ruling for taxation purposes that the tomato be classified as a vegetable, since it was primarily consumed in the manner of a vegetable rather than a fruit which was usually used in desserts.

Other botanical fruits classified as vegetables include squash, cucumbers, green beans, corn kernels, eggplants, and peppers.

More about Tomatoes and Tomato Recipes:

Tomato History
Tomato Lore and Legends
Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? FAQ
Vine-ripened Tomatoes FAQ
Tomato Selection and Storage
Commercially-Grown and Hydroponic Tomatoes
Are there male and female tomatoes? FAQ
Tomatoes and Health
Tomato Cooking Tips and Hints
Tomato Equivalents and Substitutions
Tomato Recipes
Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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