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Judge’s ruling decreed that tomatoes are a vegetable, yet tomatoes are the ‘state fruit’ in Ohio and Tennessee

Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? The short answer is: it depends. But for a longer answer, read on. From a biological perspective, tomatoes are a fruit. Fruits are the part of a flowering plant that contains the seed. Tomatoes come from tomato plants. Tomato plants have flowers, and tomatoes have seeds in them.

But through a culinary lens, they are treated more like a vegetable. We don’t eat tomatoes for dessert, and we cook them in savoury dishes rather than sweet ones.

Historically (at least in the United States), tomatoes are treated as a vegetable from a taxation/tariff point of view. In 1893, a judge ruled they were considered a vegetable and therefore not exempt from vegetable import tariff. At a state level, Ohio and Tennessee consider tomatoes their state fruit. New Jersey considers it their state vegetable while Arkansas considers a particular vine-ripened variety both its state fruit and vegetable.

If you are wondering why the American references, it appears Canadian provinces don’t have official fruits or vegetables – just official flowers, trees, birds, fish, animals, and minerals. For the record, Ontario’s are the loon (bird), the white pine (tree), and the amethyst (mineral).

Read the complete article at www.chathamdailynews.ca.


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