Is a Tomato a Fruit?


Quick Answer

Tomatoes are botanically classified as fruits because they develop from the ovary of a flower and contain seeds. Technically, tomatoes can be further classified as berries. However, because tomatoes are typically used in savory dishes instead of eaten as a dessert, they are considered vegetables for cooking purposes.

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Full Answer

In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court officially decreed that tomatoes are a vegetable, not a fruit, for tax purposes. The court did recognize that tomatoes are botanically a fruit but determined that they are subject to the 10 percent import tariff on vegetables assessed by the Port Authority of New York because they are generally considered vegetables by chefs and the general public.

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