You may not realize it, but most people at some point or another seem to ask themselves this question: ‘Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?’.

The confusion about ‘fruit’ and ‘vegetable’ arises because of the differences in usage between scientists and cooks.

Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant (though cultivated forms may be seedless). Blueberries, raspberries, and oranges are true fruits, and so are many kinds of nut. Some plants have a soft part which supports the seeds and is also called a ‘fruit’, though it is not developed from the ovary: the strawberry is an example.

This definition of fruit is very broad, and encompasses almost everything that contains seeds. In other words, things that do not contain seeds are vegetables, in the technical sense. Everything else is a fruit, which would conclude that a tomato is a fruit.

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