So… What Are Tomatoes? Exactly?

It looks like vegetables are pretty bigoted antitomatists.

Butbutbut… Aubergines, peppers, gherkins, chillis, cucumbers, and zucchinis are fruits too if one insists on being pedantic!

Poor tomato, its tribulations did not end there. Fruits are prejudiced against it too…

Truth be told, I would definitively not put tomatoes in fruit salad, the technicality of their status notwithstanding. Unless cucumber & tomatoes salad is fruit salad? Then again, cucumber got into both parties without a problem. I is offishully confused.

Serious problems of serious times.


  1. lumipuna says

    In common English (and Finnish) culinary use, tomato is usually called a vegetable (rather than fruit, due to whatever quirk of linguistic convention). Same in common Finnish usage, as pertains to food trade and industrial food processing. However, in Finnish agronomical usage (ie. as pertains to tomato cultivation), tomato is called a fruit. Botanically, tomato is a fruit, which is however a very broad category and includes many plant structures that aren’t remotely fruitlike in popular understanding. One subgategory of botanical fruit is botanical berry, which includes tomato.

    One could always speculate on what factors have historically guided common language on what exactly is considered vegetable vs. fruit vs. berry. In the formal Finnish crop classification scheme, tomatoes, cucumber and certain similar crops are often considered a separate category called literally “vegetable-fruits”. This classification is more or less separate from the abovementioned casual culinary, industrial and agronomical (not to mention botanical) classifications.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    Silly humans, insisting on labels and categories which, while they make life slightly simpler for us, nature and reality have no use for.

  3. billseymour says

    As much as I’ve enjoyed traveling in the U.K., I’ll never understand tomatoes for breakfast.  (But baked beans for breakfast…scrumptious!)

  4. kestrel says

    What are tomatoes, exactly? Delicious. Tomatoes are delicious.

    This year I grew several hundred pounds of tomatoes and now my freezer is overflowing with tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and dried tomatoes. I’m going to be enjoying this harvest for a long time to come.

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