Tomatoes: Fruit or Vegetable?

In a botanical way, a tomato is a fruit. It consists of an ovary and seeds, and is a flowering plant. It has a lower sugar content than fruit and can usually be found in salads or the main course of a meal.

President Chester A. Arthur signed the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, requiring a tax on imported vegetables, but not fruit. Tomato importers took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that a tomato is a fruit. The court declared that the tomato a vegetable based on the way it is used in meals and not desserts.

There are around 7,500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes. You can slice up beefsteak tomatoes for sandwiches. The firm Roma tomatoes are used in canning and to make paste. Cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for party trays, skewers, and stuffing. Grape tomatoes are popular in salads since they are hardier than cherry tomatoes.

Check out some of these tomato titles from our digital collections!

Review provided by Hoopla
In The Good Cook's Book of Tomatoes, an installment in the expertly researched and newly updated culinary series of the Good Cook's Books, award-winning author Michele Anna Jordan brings her creative zeal to one of the most popular fruits on the market. For anyone who feels there's no such thing as too many tomatoes, this is the definitive book-the only one with recipes for beverages, appetizers, breads, soups, salads, sauces, and much more.

Review provided by OverDrive
Summer is the best time to take advantage of juicy, sun-ripened tomatoes–let Betty show you how to make tomato season even sweeter! Featuring all varieties from cherry to heirloom, this collection will make tomatoes the star ingredient of your kitchen.

Review provided by Hoopla
In Tomatoes, Miriam Rubin gives this staple of southern gardens the passionate portrait it deserves, exploring the tomato's rich history in southern culture and inspiring home cooks to fully enjoy these summer fruits in all their glorious variety. Rubin, a prominent food writer and tomato connoisseur, provides fifty vibrant recipes as well as wisdom about how to choose tomatoes and which tomato is right for which dish.

Review provided by Hoopla
The first frost doesn't have to be the end of your tomatoes! Preserving expert Phyllis Hobson offers dozens of delicious recipes for preserving and cooking with green tomatoes. Hobson also shows you how to ripen your green tomatoes indoors so that you can enjoy fresh ripe tomatoes well into the fall and even the early winter.

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