This is one of those seemingly harmless questions that can split a group in half in no time. In fact, you might be at one of those gatherings right now when somebody asks are tomatoes a fruit?
Well, the answer is obvious, right? They grow in a garden, on a vine, go in salads. They are most definitely a vegetable.
But they’re also kind of brightly colored, juicy, have seeds, a little sweet. So maybe they are a fruit.
So, are tomatoes a fruit?
Tomatoes really are a pretty versatile plant. You can eat them raw or cooked. They go great in just about any kind of dish, from soups, sauces, toppings, and salads. You can even use them as an ingredient and drinks.
Like with types of cucumbers, there are several different types of tomatoes that you can use for things like slicing, puree, or snacking.
Uses for tomatoes
A nice tomato based soup is almost synonymous with chilly weather. You can’t go wrong with a good tomato and white bean soup.
If you have a garden, you have likely been surprised by the sheer volume of tomatoes you have harvested. A terrific use for those tomatoes is a delicious tomato sauce for pasta.
Pasta and sauce is good, but we’re a bit partial to something a bit spicier. Nothing can beat a bag of tortilla chips and some homemade, restaurant style salsa!
Tomatoes can also be entrees on their own. Take for example, Baked Tomatoes.
Fruit or vegetable?
All right, well, here’s the moment of truth. Who’s correct at this family gathering, you or your annoying uncle?
Well, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, you both are. At least kind of.
From a scientific perspective, tomatoes are considered a fruit since they contain seeds and develop from the flower of a plant.
However, from a nutritionist perspective, fruits are typically considered to have a higher fructose level and thus are sweeter. This is likely why a lot of people call tomatoes vegetables.
So technically, tomatoes should be considered a fruit. However, there is enough of an argument for them to be called in vegetable that you’re annoying uncle will probably insist he’s right anyway. Sorry.