So here's a complicated question that should have a simple answer, but it really doesn't. One Facebook member recently asked, "Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?" The answer is apparently a resounding "yes".
Tomatoes are sort of tricky to pin down. They have the technical requirements to be a fruit, yet the way we treat them as well as their texture and general nutritional makeup is more like a vegetable. Even if you want to look for an official answer, it depends on who you ask.
Scientifically, tomatoes are fruits. They are a combination of the ovary and seeds of a flowering plant. Vegetables, however, are edible parts of plants that aren't considered sweet and usually excludes seeds. That includes roots, leaves, or stems. A tomato is neither of these. Don't go touting your victory to those vegetable-saying heathens you call friends, however: the story doesn't end there.
Both cuilinarily and legally, tomatoes are considered vegetables. It's actually a case of cultural distinctions winning out over scientific ones. Travel back to the late 1800's in the US. Lawmakers in 1887 imposed tariff laws on vegetables, but not fruits. Considering how agriculturally strong the United States was at the time, the technical status of the tomato was a significant question.
Could science beat culture in the Supreme Court? The answer is no. The Supreme Court ruled, in May 10, 1893 (Nix v. Hedden (149 U.S. 304)) that the tomato is a vegetable based on cultural definitions and culinary use. That court ruling is exactly why both Ketchup and pizza sauce are considered vegetables in school lunches.
The Supreme Court isn't the only law of the land to consider the tomato's status. It is the state vegetable of New Jersey. Adding to that, Arkansas decided to name the tomato the state vegetable as well as the state fruit. Ohio in 2009 passed a law making the tomato the state fruit.
So isn't this great? We have a debate where everyone wins. Let all the fruit-people and vegetable people hold hands and hug! No? Oh okay, get back to arguing then.