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The Supreme Court Says The Tomato Is A Vegetable — Not A Fruit

3 JAN 2014
Topic : Education News

Though technically fruit, tomatoes fall under the category of “vegetable,” according to the Supreme Court.

The high court issued this 1893 tomato ruling in a case brought by members of the Nix family against Edward Hedden, collector at the Port of New York, to recover the fees they spent transporting tomatoes.

The Nixes sued under the Tariff of 1883, which required taxes on imported vegetables — but not fruit.

Botanically, any seed-bearing structure formed from an angiosperm’s (a flowering plant’s) ovary is a fruit. Since a tomato protects and contains the seeds of its host plant, the juicy sphere is technically a fruit. Some might be shocked to learn a zucchini is a fruit, too.

General or culinary classifications, however, tend to differ from the botanical one. Most people would consider a tomato a vegetable. And the court essentially gave that reasoning in Nix v. Hedden: A tomato is a vegetable because people think it is.

The arguments were short and simple. The defendant’s counsel read definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of “pea,” “eggplant,” “cucumber,” “squash,” and “pepper” as evidence.

Read full article: Business Insider