Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? This is a question many are asking. Some claim it is a vegetable because it is often eaten salted, as a starter or as a main course. Others retort, looking confident that it is a fruit of course! Let us lift the veil on this famous debate.
What is a fruit?
We often speak of fruit by designating apples, bananas, oranges… However, the definition of the word opens the field of possibilities. "A plant organ, resulting from the development of the ovary, following fertilization of the eggs, and which, when ripe, contains the seeds. », Tells us the Larousse. In nature, therefore, it is not just the fruits that we eat! There are many inedible fruits, which are simply the result of fertilization of the male and female reproductive organs of a plant. For example, hackberry trees produce hackberry. The fruits of oleander form pods filled with seeds. These fruits fall to the ground, decompose, and the seeds then germinate to give rise to a new plant.
Tomato is a fruit
The tomato therefore falls into this category. EIn fact, the tomato is a plant organ succeeding the flower. It also contains seeds, nestled inside the fruit in the pulp. This is called a fruit vegetable, because it is a foodstuff that is eaten salted.
This is also the case for zucchini, eggplant or avocado. They are distinguished from root vegetables such as carrots and radishes, or leafy vegetables such as salad or spinach.
How to grow tomato?
- Buy seedlings in pots
- Plant them in a sunny place rather sheltered from the wind, once the risk of frost has been eliminated.
- Respect a space of 80 cm approximately between each plant.
- Take advantage of planting to enrich the soil with compost and install a stake that will support the development of the plant.
Water regularly but without wetting the foliage. The substrate should be kept cool but not soggy. Then apply a layer of mulch to conserve soil moisture and space waterings. It also helps prevent the lower rods from coming into contact with the earth. Indeed, it would more easily develop diseases such as mildew.
- To go further: Growing tomatoes well
When to harvest tomatoes?
The tomato harvest begins in July-August and can last until early October if the weather permits.
- Harvest the tomato when it is well colored and the fruit is supple to the touch, usually 4 to 5 months after sowing.
- Some varieties are late and produce fruits after others.
- You can pick them and then ripen them. They should then be placed in a warm place because it is a high temperature that accelerates ripening.
A tomato-based dessert is possible!
Admittedly it rather garnishes the starters and the dishes, but it is possible to cook it in a sweet version ! Here are some gourmet recipes:
- Sweet Tomato Pie
- Candied tomato tarts
- Tomato coulis cake
- Tomato jam
- Fresh fruit salad with tomato
- Strawberry tomato ice cream
- Tomato macaroons
Tomatoes come in all colors and shapes. Some are round, elongated, flattened, ribbed, heart-shaped ... Others are yellow, red, green, orange, zebra ... In short, you are spoiled for choice! Here are three varieties that are interesting for their sweet taste.
- ‘Cherry cocktail’: small and round, cherry tomatoes are very fragrant.
- "Banana Legs": spherical, harvest in July, sweet flesh.
- Black Crimean ’: burgundy color, round and dense, its flesh is soft and sweet.
- Read more on tomato varieties