- Clay Banks on Unsplash

Tomatoes are vegetables and you know it

Legally and logically, and also because I said so.

18w ago

There’s a special kind of pedant in the car world, the Dino’s-not-a-Ferrari pedant. Basically, you’ll be having a genuinely engaging conversation, or argument – I find arguments more engaging to be honest – about old Ferraris with a group of petrolheads. And to winkle out the Dino’s-not-a-Ferrari pedant, you’ll drop it.

“Oh, and the Dino”


Sorry - for context, Dino was a name Ferrari used, back in the mid-‘60s, on some models with engines smaller than 12 cylinders. Enzo Ferrari’s thinking was the brand could offer a relatively low-cost sports car without diluting the Ferrari name. So while it’s true, in a very pedantic way, they’re not Ferraris, to all intents and purposes a car that’s built by Ferrari, named after Enzo Ferrari’s son, and appears in any history book about Ferrari, is a Ferrari.

I mention this because it’s the same with tomatoes. Not because they’re both lovely, and red, but because there's a similar struggle.

I think it’s safe to say everyone has been rebuked at least once for calling a tomato a vegetable, and while this is technically, botanically justified – tomatoes flower and have seeds - it’s utterly irrelevant. For culinary intents and purposes, we know a tomato is a vegetable. We know it’s tomato soup, not fruit juice with pulp.

And when you’re talking about food, I think it’s fair to ask a chef, not a botanist. Otherwise you may as well try to be clever and interrupt an artist talking about his paints with “well it’s not actually White Lead though is it”.

There’s no point beating a tomato pedant with this common sense though. However, if you’re ever stuck arguing in a game over whether your tomato answer counts as a fruit – simply reply to your accuser that in 1893, a tomato importer to the States argued just as strenuously, in an attempt to avoid higher vegetable tariffs. And the US Supreme Court ruled that on the basis of its applications, tomato was a vegetable.

Try not to finish off with 'and so are you' for that will ruin the commensurately pedantic reply.

Join In

Comments (48)

  • Seeds or not, it's a vegetable. I always found the discussion about tomatoes being a fruit or vegetable quite humorous considering I never hear the conversation about Bell peppers, squash, or jalapenos being fruits. Those are often unanimously agreed upon as vegetables. But the lonely tomato, is always a center of debate. Hahaha

      4 months ago
  • 🤪

      4 months ago
  • Just to mess with : Tomato is a fruit like peppers, eggplant, squash, pumpkin 😂.

    Vegetables are edible parts of the plant which includes the fruit, so everything is a vegetables 😬.

      4 months ago
  • 🙄

      4 months ago
  • Tomato is tomato 😂

      4 months ago