Are Tomatoes Berries Or Not? Get Your Answer Here

Are tomatoes berries? This simple yet not-so-easy question has divided opinions for many years. Some people believe tomatoes are berries, while others contend that they are not.

So, what is the truth? Yes, tomatoes are berries, but wouldn’t you want to know why?

In this article, I’ll address this controversy that has plagued the tomato plant for years and you’ll see what real berries are and how tomato fits in.

What are tomatoes?

Tomatoes are plant fruits that are typically red and eaten as a part of the main dish. Though they are commonly thought of as vegetables, tomatoes are classified as berries. 

That’s because they have a fleshy interior with seeds surrounded by a thin skin. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, and they also contain lycopene, a phytonutrient that has been linked to heart health and cancer prevention. 

Whether you consider them a fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet.

SEE: Tomato Sauce Substitutes You Should Try

What are berries?

Berries are small, fleshy fruits that grow on bushes or trees. Most berries are red, blue, or purple and are a good source of vitamins and fiber. They can be eaten fresh or made into jams, jellies, and other products.

When most people think of the term “berries” all they remember are the small, round, and sweet fruits. But technically, “berries” are also used to describe a type of fruit that has its seeds on the inside (surrounded by flesh) instead of outside. 

This includes grapes, bananas, and even tomatoes! So yes, tomatoes are berries.

Some common characteristics of berries include:

  • A fleshy exterior
  • A thin skin
  • A high concentration of seeds
  • A sweet taste

Finally, keep in mind that not all fruits classified as “berries” share these same characteristics. For example, bananas and grapes are often classified as berries but do not have seeds. 

Is tomato a berry or a drupe?

No, it’s not a drupe. Tomatoes and drupes have something in common, beginning with the fact that both contain seeds. Nevertheless, the two terms (berry and drupe) are not interchangeable. 

Botanically speaking, a berry is a fleshy fruit that contains multiple seeds. A drupe, on the other hand, is a fleshy fruit with a single seed. With this in mind, tomatoes are not drupes.

SEE: What Do Tomatoes Taste Like?  

Are tomatoes berries or fruits?

They are both. Not many know whether to classify tomatoes as berries or fruits and sometimes the answer depends on who you ask. Botanically speaking, a berry is a fleshy fruit with multiple seeds, and tomatoes definitely fit this definition. 

However, in the culinary world, the term berry is often used to describe small fruits that are eaten whole, and tomatoes are usually considered a fruit in this context.

Are tomatoes berries or vegetables?

Tomatoes are not vegetables; they are berries or fruits. 

People indeed argue that since tomatoes are often used in savory dishes, they should be considered vegetables. Some even opine that tomatoes have seeds, grow on vines, and should be considered fruits. But it still doesn’t mean they are true vegetables.

The botanical classification of tomato as a berry is well-supported. They have thin skin, and their flesh is soft and pulpy. Also, like other berries, tomatoes contain seeds that are enclosed in a protective sac.

In culinary terms, vegetables are usually defined as edible plants that are not sweet and tomatoes don’t fit in this description fully.

SEE: Are Grapes A Fruit Or Vegetable?

Why are tomatoes considered to be vegetables than berries?

One reason is that tomatoes are used in savory dishes more often than sweet dishes. In other words, they are more likely to be used as ingredients in main course meals rather than desserts. 

However, this does not mean that tomatoes cannot be used in sweet dishes that the recipes call for tomatoes like in pies, jams, and other sweet treats.

Another reason why tomatoes are commonly considered to be vegetables is because of their nutritional content, which is similar to that of vegetables. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. They are also low in calories and fat.

These nutritional properties make tomatoes a healthy choice for people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Finally, tomatoes are usually grouped with other vegetables in the grocery store.

SEE: Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Frozen Vegetables

FAQs

When did humans start eating tomatoes?

As far back as 700AD. The first people to identify with tomatoes were the Aztecs. By then, it was still called “tomati,” in the Nahuatl language.

Are tomatoes toxic to dogs?

No, they aren’t. Ripe tomatoes do not contain toxic materials, so dogs cannot get poisoned from eating them. Tomatoes are rich in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion in dogs.

Are tomatoes and raspberries true berries?

Tomatoes are true berries, however, raspberries are not true berries. Raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are aggregate fruits (that comprise smaller fruits). While tomatoes, cranberries, and blueberries are true botanical berries.

What is the family name of tomatoes?

Tomato belongs to the family Solanaceae. It’s a member of the genus Solanum and is the second most essential fruit after potatoes. Another name for tomato is Lycopersicon Esculentum.

SEE: Can You Freeze Fresh Strawberry?

Conclusion

Tomatoes are fruits that are typically red and slightly acidic in taste. Although there is some debate on the matter, many still agree that tomatoes are in fact berries.

That’s because they fit all of the scientific criteria for being a berry, including having a fleshy interior and seeds that are encased in a thin layer of skin.

So next time you’re wondering whether or not to put tomatoes in your fruit salad, you can go ahead and add them with confidence.

Thank you for reading.

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