View Poll Results: What is a tomato?

Voters
22. This poll is closed
  • Vegetable

    10 45.45%
  • Fruit

    9 40.91%
  • Both

    3 13.64%
  • None

    0 0%
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  1. #11
    Innocent Fairy's Avatar
    Innocent Fairy is offline Junior Member
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    Question Re: FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    UFOs are commonly thought of by non-scientists as alien space craft. That doesn't make them so.

    Tomatoes form from the ovary of the flower; they grow on a stalk with a calyx at the base, and they're full of seeds - just like apples, plums, strawberries.
    Still, it's not a big deal.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fruit - usage note:
    fruit (frt)
    The ripened ovary of a flowering plant that contains the seeds, sometimes fused with other parts of the plant. Fruits can be dry or fleshy. Berries, nuts, grains, pods, and drupes are fruits. Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries alone, such as the tomato and pea pod, are called true fruits. Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries and other parts such as the receptacle or bracts, as in the apple, are called accessory fruits or false fruits. See also aggregate fruitmultiple fruitsimple fruit, See Note at berry.

    Usage To most of us, a fruit is a plant part that is eaten as a dessert or snack because it is sweet, but to a botanist a fruit is a mature ovary of a plant, and as such it may or may not taste sweet. All species of flowering plants produce fruits that contain seeds. A peach, for example, contains a pit that can grow into a new peach tree, while the seeds known as peas can grow into another pea vine. To a botanist, apples, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, pea pods, cucumbers, and winged maple seeds are all fruits. A vegetable is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food. Thus, the leaf of spinach, the root of a carrot, the flower of broccoli, and the stalk of celery are all vegetables. In everyday, nonscientific speech we make the distinction between sweet plant parts (fruits) and nonsweet plant parts (vegetables). This is why we speak of peppers and cucumbers and squashall fruits in the eyes of a botanistas vegetables."
    It means that bitter gourds, apple gourds and bottle gourds are also fruits because they contain seeds. Am I right?

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

    I voted for both because it is a berry, but we generally use it as a vegetable in the kitchen. I think there have been law cases where it was treated as a vegetable.

  3. #13
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent Fairy View Post
    It means that bitter gourds, apple gourds and bottle gourds are also fruits because they contain seeds. Am I right?
    This has been explained.
    They aren't fruits simply because they contain seeds. They are fruits because they form from the reproductive organs of the plant - they aren't vegetative structures like leaves and roots. If it starts with a flower, and ends up hanging off the end of a stem (usually with a calyx at the base and the dying flower falling off the other end) it's a fruit.

    Some fruits are called vegetables by non-botanists. Even so, they're still fruits. Most vegetables are not fruits. Some vegetables, to a non-botanist, are both. Gourds are both.

  4. #14
    Jazz_4 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Some fruits are called vegetables by non-botanists.
    Because there are two aspects of this question - botanic and gastronomic. When I see a tomato in my garden - it's a fruit without questions (the botanic aspect). When I see it in a salad on the table in front of me - it's a vegetable (the gastronomic aspect). Who wants a tomato for dessert? I think no one...

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