The age old question; is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? The answer is simple if you know the difference between a vegetable and a fruit. Lucky for you, that is what this article is about.
The easiest way to explain the difference between a fruit and a vegetable is to define each and cite the differences.
What is a fruit?
You may not think about it when you are enjoying a crisp slice of watermelon or an apple, but fruits are the way that flowering plants procreate. In a way, you are eating the placenta of the plant. This is not to say all seeds are fruit, but that fruits contain seeds. This is one of the major differences between a fruit and a vegetable. The majority of fruits also grow on trees above the ground. This is the reason many people argue that tomatoes are a vegetable, because they don’t grow on trees, but vines which are still above ground. Tomatoes are also considered culinary vegetables, because in cooking they are not used like a fruit. A tomato is scientifically speaking, however, just for knowledge’s sake, a fruit, because it has seeds. As are a variety of other vine grown fruits such as the cantaloupe, and honeydew melon. Nuts are also technically fruits, even if they are not what you typically picture when you think of a fruit.
Examples of fruits: Oranges, Pumpkins, Tomatoes, Apples, Watermelon, Peanuts, Peppers, Avocado,Grapes, and Berries.
What is a vegetable?
A vegetable is the edible part of any plant. Now you could argue that all fruits are an edible part of a plant. The difference is a fruit will eventually separate from the plant and the seeds inside will become another plant. They are the means by which the plant procreates. A vegetable such as a carrot will not separate and become another plant. It is the plant. According to the dictionary if a plant that grows a fruit is also edible, the fruit is a fruit, but the plant itself would be a vegetable. A wonderful example of this is grape vines. Grape leaves are commonly used in Greek cooking and are defined as a vegetable; however, the grapes themselves are a fruit because they contain seeds.
Examples of vegetables: Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Peas (the pea is an edible seed), Garlic, and Broccoli.
So, there you have it, a fruit is the container by which a plant disperses its seed, and a vegetable is any edible portion of a plant besides the fruit. Now you know the difference between a vegetable and a fruit.
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