This question always rises when people talk about tomatoes, or also avocados.
- Vegetable is a plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower. Higher on starch and a low on fructose (not sweet)
- Fruit comes from a seed, it cannot be formed without pollination of a flower and it is higher on fructose (makes them sweet)
If you are speaking in a botanical, scientific context, then pumpkin, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, tomato and squash are FRUITS because they all have seeds. If you are speaking in culinary terms, they can all be properly called VEGETABLES.
Fruit Vegetable Formulas
Seed + sweet = fruit
Seed + savory = culinary vegetable
No seed + savory= vegetable
No seed + sweet= culinary fruit
Any sweet, edible part of a plant that resembles fruit, even if it does not develop from a floral ovary or seed, is known as culinary fruit. Many culinary fruits including Figs, Pineapple, and Strawberries are not fruits in the strict botanical sense. Because to plant a pineapple you need the top leaves and to plant strawberries you need the spores, which are not seeds.
Referred to as vegetable because of the savory taste, but classified as fruit because of the seeds : bell peppers, corn kernels, pea pods, tomato, avocado.
Mushrooms are fungi, not herbaceous plants; they are considered vegetables due to their savory taste.