Why Is a Tomato a Fruit

Botanically tomato is an herb of the nightshade family. It is primarily grown in view of the high demand of its edible fruit. The fruit is sometimes branded as “vegetable” because of its mildly salty taste variety. Tomatoes when ripened assume a characteristic red color.

Tomatoes are phototropic plants reaching a height between one to three meters. Due to a delicate stem the potato vine whirls around other plants for mechanical support. The perennial nature of the plant adds to its bulk production every year. Mostly it is cultivated outdoor. The plant grows well under temperate climactic conditions maintained throughout the year.

Tomato Why Is a Tomato a Fruit

As a fruit tomato is considered a berry. Qualifying the definition of a “true” fruit, it oozes out of the ovary after fertilization. The flesh of the fruit is developed from ‘pericarp walls’. There are hollow chambers in the fruit, containing wet material full of seeds called ‘locular cavities’. To ensure fermentation / germination for further production, the seeds ought to be taken out of a fully ripened fruit, preferably be dried.

Fruit or Vegetable controversy:

In botanical terms, a tomato is considered a fruit. This is primarily because its ovary contains seeds of a flowering plant. The tomato is not much sweet as most other fruits are. Owing to less sweet taste, it is either served as salad or used in part constituent of the regular meal, not as dessert course after meal.

You may, however, consider it a vegetable while employing it for culinary purposes. Surprisingly enough tomatoes are considered a fruit in domestic canning procedures, i.e. they have sufficient acidity to be treated in a plenty of water than boiling in a pressure cooker, as most of the vegetables would require.

It is not only tomatoes which exhibit mixed traits, there are certain other food stuffs, such as cucumbers, squashes that are fruits by botanic consideration, but processed as vegetables for eating.

The debate, exploring whether “tomato” is a fruit or vegetable, assumed legal status in the United States by 1887, when a tariff law levied a tax on vegetables but exempted fruits. This raised serious repercussions to determine the status of tomato in law — a fruit or a vegetable.

The US Supreme Court finally decreed on May 10, 1893 that the tomato is a vegetable. The court based its verdict on the popular belief that since the food-kind (tomato) is used as vegetables — they are served with the regular course of dinner not as dessert.

Here, it should be noted that the decision of the court was limited to the interpretation of that very act that levied tax on vegetables and hence entailed tomatoes too. This by no means was a reflection on the botanical reclassification of tomatoes.

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