Do you know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
Let's discuss the great debate. People love to argue about tomatoes and whether they are a fruit or a vegetable. Some say it's both. Before revealing the truth, let's figure out what makes something a fruit and what makes something a vegetable.
(carrots: vegetable) (pepper: fruit)
You may hear experienced gardeners say fruit when referring to things like peppers, squash, eggplant, etc. Well, they are botanically correct. A fruit is developed from the flower of a plant. It is the mature ovary of the plant. Fruit contain seeds, and any other part of the plant, including leaves, stems and roots are considered vegetables. The confusion comes from what we were taught in school when it came to categorizing fruit and veggies. We tend to think that fruit are are sweet and vegetables are savory, but that's not the case.
(photo credit, Sketch Plantations)
Let's look at rhubarb. Botanically, it's a vegetable, but most people use it as a fruit. Rhubarb gets made into compote, pies, jams and jellies. As far as the tomato, I think you've probably guessed by now, it's a fruit that is mostly used as a vegetable. In 1893, the US Supreme Court said that tomatoes should be classified as a vegetable solely based on it's culinary use. It's a savory fruit that is used is a number of savory dishes, and is often times the base of a dish. Like spaghetti and sancocho. In the botanical world, no matter what they say, it's a fruit.