promotion image of download ymail app
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenGarden & Landscape · 1 decade ago

is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?

If you are in the U.S. it is -legally a vegetable. In 1878 , the case Nix v. Hayden, the Supreme court ruled that a tomato is a vegetable (not a fruit---which had lower tax levees at the time). This ruling was based soley on taste...and has never been overturned.

Us horticulturists, of course recognize that anything that comes from an ovary to be a fruit.....while vegetables are strctly leaves and stems.

So with that said, are you ready to aknowledge that a pepper, cucumber , and green bean are also fruits?

If not....then a tomato is a vegetable.


growing on a vine has nothing to do with being a fruit. Not everything that has seeds is a fruit.

what is used to determine the difference is this

does it mature from an ovary(flower)? =fruit

leave.root or stem= vegetable

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    ALL Fruits have seeds. After that, the subject becomes murky.

    However, this is not such an easy question. Consider that in Oklahoma, the official State Vegetable is Watermelon.

    The USDA agrees. Watermelons are planted with seeds, then picked the same way you would pick Potatoes, Broccoli or Lettuce.

    In 1893 Nix v. Hedden decided that Tomatoes are Vegetables for tax purposes. You didn't mention that Ronald Reagan's USDA agreed by classifying Tomato Ketchup as a Vegetable to shave off $1 billion from federal school lunch subsidies, along with Pickles and later Salsa.

    Organic Gardening Magazine weighs in on the semantics of fruits and vegetables:

    "Common garden "vegetables" that are actually fruit, include cucumbers, squash, peppers, and yes, tomatoes. Vegetables encompass all other edible parts of a plant that aren't fruit, including roots, tubers, stems, and leaves. Potatoes, carrots, greens, fennel bulbs, and onions are examples of real vegetables."

    Then there's Suite 101's layperson opinion: "The big question to ask is, DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, you have a FRUIT. This, of course, makes your Tomato a Fruit. It also makes Cucumbers, Squash, Green Beans and Walnuts all Fruits as well. VEGETABLES such as Radishes, Celery, Carrots and Lettuce do NOT have seeds (that are part of what we eat) and so they are grouped as Vegetables.”

    Vegies are generally understood to be edible PLANT PARTS. Roots. Leaves. Tubers. But the "savory" flavor of many true Fruits also renders them Vegetables in the eyes of mothers coast to coast and the children they serve them to. Fruits are sweet enough to be classified as Dessert, although that is not one of the official labels.

    Cucumbers, Squash, Zucchini -- who in their right mind would includes these in, say, a Banana Split next to the Strawberries and Bananas? Could you ever glaze these? Ever hear of Zucchini Jubillee? Ending a meal with a delightful Cucumber Flambee? Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

    In fact, although we can botanically identify certain plant parts as "Fruits", the "Vegetable" is not a scientific concept.

    This is alas a very personal belief, like politics or color preference. And there is no getting around that. Let the Supreme Court and the USDA litigate these definitions. If it doesn't go with ice cream, as far as I'm concerned, it's a Vegetable.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    The classification of the tomato can be confusing. But there are key things to note. It can actually be considered a vegetable and a fruit at the same time depending on which context it's in. Scientifically, it is considered a fruit because it is actually the ovary enclosed with seeds that came from a developing flower. However, due to its culinary usage, since it does not have the conventional "sweet" taste of most other fruits, it is usually classified as a vegetable. It is most often served with other vegetables rather than with fruits or sweet desserts. However, some prefer applying the scientific definition while cooking, despite it not being prepared as a fruit. Additionally, the US Supreme Court declared the tomato as a vegetable purely on the fact that it is used most often as a vegetable when it comes to paying a tax under a tariff act. Hence, some "vegetables" such as cucumbers and squashes are also fruits according to scientific definition.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    dont like vegetables or vegetables either. Every my menu involves is hamburgers, pizza, chips, and poultry.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • adrian
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Zucchini is commonly looked at as a plant, and in layman's parlance, of course, this is somewhat more useful; however, by tight definition, the zucchini is a fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • NXile
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It grows on a vine, so it's a fruit.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Tomatoes are fruit.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    If it's got seeds in it, it is a fruit from a botanist's viewpoint. Lawyers can say what they want.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    It is classed as a fruit.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • eve
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago


    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A fruit.Not both.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.