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Growing Tomatoes: Why are Tomatoes Considered Fruit?

Confusion swirls around the classification of the simple tomato. Is it a fruit, or is it a vegetable? According to science, the tomato is definitely a fruit, but when you consider it’s culinary classification, it is without a doubt, a vegetable. It seems the humble tomato is a plant facing an identity crisis. Let’s dig a little deeper with some help from

Botanical Classification

As mentioned above, scientifically speaking, the tomato is a fruit. The botanical classification of a fruit is: something that forms from a flower, contains a seed or seeds, and assists in the plant’s reproduction process. Tomatoes fit this perfectly. Tomatoes form from small yellow flowers that are produced on the vine. They also contain many seeds that can be harvested and used to grow more tomatoes. Seems simple enough, right?

Culinary Classification

Just when you thought you had it all figured out, we are introducing you to a new classification system. Culinary classification is based on how the produce is used and applied in cooking. This classification is based on its flavor profile and what other foods it is normally paired with. According to the culinary system, fruits tend to be sweet, tart, or tangy with a soft texture, and used in desserts, smoothies, jams, etc. Vegetables typically have a more bland or bitter taste and may require cooking. Vegetables are used for savory dishes like stir fries and stews.

Tomatoes are most often used in dishes containing vegetables, and they lack the sweetness of most fruits, so they are grouped with vegetables in their culinary application. In fact, the U.S government even got involved in the debate way back in 1895. A tomato importer was trying to argue that tomatoes should be considered fruits so that he could avoid paying the higher tariffs that were placed on vegetables. The Supreme Court ruled against the importer and said that, in this case, tomatoes were considered vegetables because of their use.

The Best Tomatoes

So, there you have it. The debate has been raging for over a hundred years, and doesn’t appear to be dying down any time soon. To the scientists and farmers, tomatoes are fruits. For the chefs and most of the general public, tomatoes are vegetables. There is one thing, however, that everyone can agree on. Fresh grown tomatoes from the garden beat supermarket tomatoes every time! If you are looking to grow the best tasting, best producing, best looking tomatoes around, you need to be using the best tomato fertilizer. Tomato Secret is designed to feed the microbes in the soil and deliver direct nutrition to the plant. You won’t find better than Dr. JimZ Tomato Secret.