Thanks to my 5-year-old daughter for this Cliff Clavin-ism: “Did you know that tomatoes are really a fruit”? Trust me. I have it on good authority because, “REALLY! My teacher says so!”. Apparently our chère institutrice de français moonlights as a botanist.
I’m an avid collector of useless yet interesting facts. Well…interesting to ME anyway. So of course I had to get to the…ahem…root of this matter.
To really figure out if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, you need to know what makes a fruit a fruit.
QUESTION: Does this plant matter here in my hand have seeds?
If you answered yes – then technically you have a fruit! This also makes cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all fruits as well.
So you want to eat leaves, stems, roots or flowers? Go for lettuce, celery, carrots and broccoli. This stuff is usually referred to as vegetables – and your child may not be your grocer’s #1 Vegetable Fan with, but when presented in this light maybe it’s…ahem…ripe for re-evaluation. And whoa! Then it stands to reason that rhubarb is actually a vegetable.
Riveting, mind-blowing, astounding, isn’t it? (I know. It’s so not.) I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.