Why the tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit.

Botanically speaking, yes. The tomato is a fruit. However, as much as we’d like to admit this fact and move on with our lives, we simply cannot. We understand the idea behind why it’s labelled a fruit, but from a culinary perspective this just doesn’t make sense. Some of you will be thinking, who cares? They’re just words. But once you understand just how long this “war of words” has been going on for, you might see just how divisive this topic really is.

The debate dates back beyond decades, with the popular product causing a stir well before the commercial cooking landscape of this generation. In fact, it was in 1893 that the Supreme Court was called to rule on the matter, who ruled that tomatoes were vegetables “in the common language of the people.” This is where the argument should have ended, however society today still fusses over the correct terminology.

If you need further evidence of where we stand on the matter, you’ll find our range of tomato products located in the vegetable section of our website. Because in terms of cooking it serves the purpose of a vegetable. Imagine a tomato-based desert, no thank you. In honour of the popular vegetable, here’s five areas of the world that count on tomatoes for their cuisine:


1.  Italy

Pasta and pizza! Two incredible dishes many could never live without. Whether it’s a cheesy margherita or saucy spaghetti, you’ll want to get the tomatoes right. Our Riviana Chunky Crushed Tomatoes will help enhance the flavour of any pasta sauce and the sizable chunks stand out for improved presentation. Plus, we’re providing a new 10kg pack for venues pumping out pasta. If you’re in the pizza business, our Tomato Paste is perfect for pizza bases.


2. France

Ratatouille became a household name in 2007 due to the release of an animated movie about a rat. However, the French dish has been admired by chefs long before then. Accompanied by a range of other vegetables, the tomato is an important member of the ratatouille family. Tomato tarte tatin is a lesser known delicacy, but worth an attempt for any cafes or restaurants interested in adding some savoury flavours to their menu.


3. Spain

We can’t talk tomatoes without heading to Spain! Aside from having an annual event where they literally hurl tomatoes at each other, the European hot spot has a variety of tomato national recipes. All good Gazpacho is rich in flavour with a consistent texture. Our Riviana Crushed Tomatoes make for a great soup base and come in a convenient 10kg pack as well.


4. Mexico

Tacos, tortillas and tostadas all go well with tomatoes. But what we’ve found is that chefs love to use our Whole Peeled Tomatoes to construct a delicious salsa. A spicy salsa makes for a terrific starter or side when paired with corn chips. It might seem a straightforward snack, but sometimes the simplest of pleasures are the easiest to enjoy.


5. Greece

When it’s hot and sunny outside, customers love light and tasty. A Greek salad is a culinary classic and easy enough to prep and produce. Over time, tomatoes have become a staple ingredient of the Greek salad, with chefs often opting to add either cherry or sundried tomatoes into the mix. It’s an excellent way to add colour and flavour. Our Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Sundried Tomatoes are now available in pouch packs, for anyone looking to make prep work a breeze.


All over the world tomatoes are used for cooking. And all over the world the debate rages on as to what exactly a tomato should be defined as. Fruit or vegetable? It’s an interesting conundrum for sure. But for all of the chefs who’ve ever had to fight for the right to call it a vegetable, we’re with you on this one. Because admitting it’s a fruit suggests that the likes of eggplants and peppers are fruits as well. And that’s just opening a whole new can of tomatoes we’re simply not ready for.