Is a Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable?

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The age-old question actually has an answer—it’s both!

Tomatoes are fruits that are considered vegetables by experts. Botanically, a fruit is a ripened flower ovary and contains seeds. Tomatoes, plums, zucchinis, and melons are all __________________ (1 EAT) fruits, but things like maple “helicopters” and __________________ (2 FLOAT) dandelion puffs are fruits too. For some reason, people got hung up on tomatoes, but the “fruit or vegetable” question is also __________________ (3 RELEVANCE) when talking about any vegetable with seeds.

Nutritionally, the term “fruit” is used to describe sweet and __________________ (4 FLESH) botanical fruits, and “vegetable” is used to indicate a wide __________________ (5 VARIOUS) of plant parts that are not so high in fructose. In many __________________ (6 CULTURAL), vegetables tend to be served as part of the main dish or side, whereas sweet fruits are __________________ (7 TYPICAL) snacks or desserts. Thus, roots, tubers, stems, flower buds, leaves, and certain fruits, including green beans, pumpkins, and of course tomatoes, are all considered vegetables by __________________ (8 NUTRITION). There is no hard-and-fast rule that clearly designates a fruit as a vegetable, but, given that tomatoes are __________________ (9 GENERAL) not used in desserts and are __________________ (10 CLOSE) related to other fruit-vegetables (e.g., eggplants and peppers), it is not too counterintuitive for tomatoes to be classified as vegetables.

(Adapted from on 29 February 2016)

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