Nugget of Knowledge: Why is the tomato a fruit, and how was it discovered?

Daybreak

The tomato is actually a berry, much like the strawberry, blackberry and raspberry

(WYTV) – Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable?

Botanists classify them as fruits because they contain seeds inside their juicy, pulpy tissue.

The tomato is actually a berry, much like the strawberry, blackberry and raspberry.

Aside from tomatoes, several other foods that we call vegetables are really fruits: string beans, squash, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers.

Although the tomato was first grown by the Indians in Central and South America, they called it tomati. It didn’t reach North America until it had first traveled to Europe.

At first, the Spanish didn’t know what to do with the tomato, since they thought it was too tart to eat as a fruit.

Then, a chef at the royal court mixed tomatoes with olive oil and onions, and invented the world’s first tomato sauce.

The tomato has been a misunderstood food. Many people in Europe and America refused to eat it, thinking it was poisonous. It really took until the mid 19th century in American to catch on here. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.