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  • The explanation lies in the two different ways that "fruit" is defined. First, it is true that scientifically speaking, tomatoes are fruits.


    According to Merriam-Webster, a fruit is "the usually edible1 reproductive body of a seed plant." In a blog post, the dictionary explained it in simpler terms: "Any thing that grows on a plant and is the means by which that plant gets its seeds out into the world is a fruit."


    That definition includes apples, tomatoes, and anything else that grows from a plant and contains seeds. (Cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins2, and avocados are all fruits too, according to science.)


    Vegetables, on the other hand, have a slightly murkier3 definition. It's a word we use to group together a wide range of plants whose parts are edible and herbaceous, like roots, stems, and leaves. The critical distinction is that, according to the dictionary, a vegetable must be part of a plant or the whole plant itself, while fruits are just the means by which certain plants spread their seeds.


    "The thing a tomato plant produces isn't a part of the plant itself, any more than the egg a chicken lays is part of the chicken, or the apple is part of the tree on which it grew," Merriam-Webster wrote.


    But the confusion arises because "vegetable" isn't a botanical classification so much as it is a culinary one. And "fruit" can be a culinary term, too — described as "having a sweet pulp4 associated with the seed" and "used chiefly in a dessert or sweet course," according to Merriam-Webster. So scientifically, fruits don't have to be sweet, but in the kitchen, most people would classify the fruits that fall on the savory5 side, like tomatoes, as vegetables.


    Nutritionists recognize the terms as they are commonly used, and tomatoes are listed as a vegetable under USDA guidelines.


    Even the Supreme6 Court has weighed in on the issue.




    "Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in the common language of the people … all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips7, beets8, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce9, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert."



     10级    英文科普 
     单词标签: edible  pumpkins  murkier  pulp  savory  supreme  turnips  beets  lettuce 


    1 edible [ˈedəbl] Uqdxx   第7级
    • Edible wild herbs kept us from dying of starvation. 我们靠着野菜才没被饿死。
    • This kind of mushroom is edible, but that kind is not. 这种蘑菇吃得,那种吃不得。
    2 pumpkins [ˈpʌmpkinz] 09a64387fb624e33eb24dc6c908c2681   第7级
    n.南瓜( pumpkin的名词复数 );南瓜的果肉,南瓜囊
    • I like white gourds, but not pumpkins. 我喜欢吃冬瓜,但不喜欢吃南瓜。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put lights inside. 然后在南瓜上刻出一张脸,并把瓜挖空。 来自英语晨读30分(高三)
    3 murkier ['mɜ:kɪər] 4e9c27b5b4183d1f6ee1eb4511037a93   第12级
    adj.阴暗的( murky的比较级 );昏暗的;(指水)脏的;混浊的
    • If not, the outcome may be a lot murkier. 而如不然,结果可能就会更加含糊不清。 来自互联网
    • This leads us into the murkier areas of human behaviour. 这让我们看到了人类行为较阴暗的领域。 来自互联网
    4 pulp [pʌlp] Qt4y9   第8级
    • The pulp of this watermelon is too spongy. 这西瓜瓤儿太肉了。
    • The company manufactures pulp and paper products. 这个公司制造纸浆和纸产品。
    5 savory ['seɪvərɪ] UC9zT   第11级
    • She placed a huge dish before him of savory steaming meat. 她将一大盘热气腾腾、美味可口的肉放在他面前。
    • He doesn't have a very savory reputation. 他的名誉不太好。
    6 supreme [su:ˈpri:m] PHqzc   第7级
    • It was the supreme moment in his life. 那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
    • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court. 他把起诉书送交最高法院。
    7 turnips [ˈtɜ:nɪps] 0a5b5892a51b9bd77b247285ad0b3f77   第8级
    芜青( turnip的名词复数 ); 芜菁块根; 芜菁甘蓝块根; 怀表
    • Well, I like turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflowers, onions and carrots. 噢,我喜欢大萝卜、西红柿、茄子、菜花、洋葱和胡萝卜。 来自魔法英语-口语突破(高中)
    • This is turnip soup, made from real turnips. 这是大头菜汤,用真正的大头菜做的。
    8 beets [bi:ts] 88b1e961db3387e932ee94bcb085128f   第10级
    甜菜( beet的名词复数 ); 甜菜根; (因愤怒、难堪或觉得热而)脸红
    • Beets are Hank's favorite vegetable. 甜菜根是汉克最爱吃的蔬菜。
    • In this enlargement, barley, alfalfa, and sugar beets can be differentiated. 在这张放大的照片上,大麦,苜蓿和甜菜都能被区分开。
    9 lettuce [ˈletɪs] C9GzQ   第7级
    • Get some lettuce and tomatoes so I can make a salad. 买些莴苣和西红柿,我好做色拉。
    • The lettuce is crisp and cold. 莴苣松脆爽口。

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