In many cultures, vegetables tend to be served as part of the main dish or side, whereas sweet fruits are typically snacks or desserts.Thus, roots, tubers, stems, flower buds, leaves, and certain botanical fruits, including green beans, pumpkins, and of course tomatoes, are all considered vegetables by nutritionists. .
Here's Why a Tomato Is Actually Both a Fruit And Vegetable
It's a word we use to group together a wide range of plants whose parts are edible and herbaceous, like roots, stems, and leaves.In 1893, the high court was forced to rule on whether imported tomatoes should be taxed under the Tariff Act of 1883, which only applied to vegetables and not fruits."Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas," Grey wrote in the court's opinion."But in the common language of the people … all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.".That idea was channeled more than 100 years later in a quote attributed to journalist Miles Kington, who may have settled the debate once and for all:. .
Is a Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable?
They’re typically grouped alongside vegetables in the culinary world, but you may have also heard them referred to as fruits.Nutritionally, fruits and vegetables get a lot of attention for being rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber ( 1 ).In culinary practice, fruits and vegetables are utilized and applied based primarily on their flavor profiles.Summary Whether a food is a fruit or vegetable depends on if it’s being discussed in culinary or botanical terms.Like other true fruits, tomatoes form from small yellow flowers on the vine and naturally contain a multitude of seeds.Interestingly, some modern varieties of tomato plants have been intentionally cultivated to stop producing seeds.As a result, they’ve earned a reputation as a vegetable, even though they’re technically a fruit by scientific standards.It was during this case that the court ruled the tomato would be classified as a vegetable on the basis of its culinary applications instead of its botanical categorization as a fruit.In fact, it’s fairly common for plants botanically classified as fruits to be used as vegetables in culinary practice. .
Supreme Court Tomato Is Vegetable
The defendant's counsel read definitions from Webster's Dictionary of "pea," "eggplant," "cucumber," "squash," and "pepper" as evidence.The plaintiff then did the same (adding Worcester's Dictionary) with the definitions of "potato," "turnip," "parsnip," "cauliflower," "cabbage," "carrot," and "bean.".But in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.Other Supreme Court cases, like Saltonstall v. Wiebusch & Hilger and Cadwalader v.
Zeh, have cited Nix v. Hedden, usually pertaining to payment of back taxes.
The obscure Supreme Court case that decided tomatoes are
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Is a Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable and Why?
1 So putting our botany caps on, we would classify foods like apples, strawberries and peaches as fruits including tomatoes!A nutritionist, chef or even your grandma, would use the culinary classification system, that defines fruits and vegetables in a slightly different manner, basing it on the way the plants are used and their flavour profiles.1 Culinary speaking, a ‘vegetable’ usually has a tougher texture, tastes blander and often requires cooking in dishes like stews, soups or stir-fries.1,2 Whereas, a ‘fruit’ has a soft texture, tends to be either sweet or tart and is often enjoyed raw or in desserts or jams.The culinary definition may be more useful for the general public, nutritionists and chefs because the foods that are from the same botanical family, may not have the same nutritional compositions.For example, cantaloupe melons, watermelons, butternut squash, cucumbers and pumpkins all belong to the same botanical family but have different nutritional compositions.Other botanical fruit that are culinarily considered vegetables are: avocado, olives, pumpkin, tomato, sweecorn, courgette, cucumber, green peas, chili, aubergine.To summarise, tomatoes are usually prepared in savoury dishes despite botanically being a fruit, which is why they are often described as a vegetable from a culinary perspective.We can all agree tomatoes are easy snacks, delicious in stews and are a healthy option in our diets, providing us with fibre, vitamins and minerals. .
 The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, raw or cooked, in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks.(Determinate, or bush, plants are annuals that stop growing at a certain height and produce a crop all at once.). The native Mexican tomatillo is tomate (Nahuatl: tomātl (help·info) , meaning 'fat water' or 'fat thing'). In this capacity, it has even become an American and British slang term: saying " " when presented with two choices can mean "What's the difference?".Encyclopedia Britannica, tomatoes are a fruit labeled in grocery stores as a vegetable due to (the taste) and nutritional purposes.According to, tomatoes are a fruit labeled in grocery stores as a vegetable due to (the taste) and nutritional purposes.Tomatoes are not the only food source with this ambiguity; bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, eggplants, avocados, and squashes of all kinds (such as zucchini and pumpkins) are all botanically fruit, yet cooked as vegetables.In 1887, U.S. tariff laws that imposed a duty on vegetables, but not on fruit, caused the tomato's status to become a matter of legal importance. The holding of this case applies only to the interpretation of the Tariff of 1883, and the court did not purport to reclassify the tomato for botanical or other purposes.Indeterminate types are "tender" perennials, dying annually in temperate climates (they are originally native to tropical highlands), although they can live up to three years in a greenhouse in some cases.Tomato vines are typically pubescent, meaning covered with fine short hairs.Their flowers, appearing on the apical meristem, have the anthers fused along the edges, forming a column surrounding the pistil's style.Although in culinary terms, tomato is regarded as a vegetable, its fruit is classified botanically as a berry. As a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising the pericarp walls.The fruit contains hollow spaces full of seeds and moisture, called locular cavities.On the other hand, hybrids of tomato and diploid potato can be created in the lab by somatic fusion, and are partially fertile, providing evidence of the close relationship between these species.The first commercially available genetically modified food was a variety of tomato named the Flavr Savr, which was engineered to have a longer shelf life. Scientists are continuing to develop tomatoes with new traits not found in natural crops, such as increased resistance to pests or environmental stresses.Other projects aim to enrich tomatoes with substances that may offer health benefits or provide better nutrition.These efforts have resulted in significant regionally adapted breeding lines and hybrids, such as the Mountain series from North Carolina.It was regarded with suspicion as a food because botanists recognized it as a nightshade, a relative of the poisonous belladonna.The exact date of domestication is unknown; by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas.: 13 The Pueblo people are thought to have believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. Bernardino de Sahagún reported seeing a great variety of tomatoes in the Aztec market at Tenochtitlán (Mexico City): “.The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in a herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who suggested that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy that was blood red or golden color when mature and could be divided into segments and eaten like an eggplant—that is, cooked and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oil.It was not until ten years later that tomatoes were named in print by Mattioli as pomi d'oro, or "golden apples".The recorded history of tomatoes in Italy dates back to at least 31 October 1548, when the house steward of Cosimo de' Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the grand duke's Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo "had arrived safely". Tomatoes were grown mainly as ornamentals early on after their arrival in Italy.For example, the Florentine aristocrat Giovanvettorio Soderini wrote how they "were to be sought only for their beauty", and were grown only in gardens or flower beds.The tomato's ability to mutate and create new and different varieties helped contribute to its success and spread throughout Italy. In certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration, until it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century.: 17 Gerard's Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources,: 17 is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England.: 17 Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous: 17 (in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tomatine, but are not generally dangerous; see below).Gerard's views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North American colonies.Even today, in Bengal, the alternative name is "Biliti Begun" (Bengali: বিলিতি বেগুন), meaning "Foreign Eggplant" It was then adopted widely as it is well suited to India's climate, with Uttarakhand as one of the main producers.The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker, British consul in Aleppo circa 1799 to 1825.The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710, when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina.Possibly, some people continued to think tomatoes were poisonous at this time; and in general, they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food.Early tomato breeders included Henry Tilden in Iowa and a Dr. Hand in Baltimore.Alexander W. Livingston receives much credit for developing numerous varieties of tomato for both home and commercial gardeners. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 1937 yearbook declared that "half of the major varieties were a result of the abilities of the Livingstons to evaluate and perpetuate superior material in the tomato.".Because of the long growing season needed for this heat-loving crop, several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato-producers, particularly Florida and California.In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. The center is named for the late Dr. Charles M.
Rick, a pioneer in tomato genetics research.This change occurred after discovery of a mutant "u" phenotype in the mid 20th century that ripened "u"niformly.This was widely cross-bred to produce red fruit without the typical green ring around the stem on uncross-bred varieties.Prior to general introduction of this trait, most tomatoes produced more sugar during ripening, and were sweeter and more flavorful.Hence genetic design of a commercial variety that combines the advantages of types u and U requires fine tuning, but may be feasible. However, these breeding efforts have yielded unintended negative consequences on various tomato fruit attributes.For instance, linkage drag is a phenomenon that has been responsible for alterations in the metabolism of the tomato fruit.Linkage drag describes the introduction of an undesired trait or allele into a plant during backcrossing.Thus, breeding efforts attempting to enhance certain traits (for example: larger fruit size) have unintentionally altered production of chemicals associated with, for instance, nutritional value and flavor.However, this tactic has limitations, for the incorporation of certain traits, such as pathogen resistance, can negatively impact other favorable phenotypes (fruit production, etc.).Handling cigarettes and other infected tobacco products can transmit the virus to tomato plants.As the name implies, it has the symptom of making the top leaves of the plant wrinkle up and grow abnormally.Systemin activates defensive mechanisms, such as the production of protease inhibitors to slow the growth of insects.In addition, a deformity called cat-facing can be caused by pests, temperature stress, or poor soil conditions.Several species of umbellifer are therefore often grown with tomato plants, including parsley, Queen Anne's lace, and occasionally dill.As a floral device to reduce selfing, the pistil of wild tomatoes extends farther out of the flower than today's cultivars.That tomatoes pollinate themselves poorly without outside aid is clearly shown in greenhouse situations, where pollination must be aided by artificial wind, vibration of the plants (one brand of vibrator is a wand called an "electric bee" that is used manually), or more often today, by cultured bumblebees. The anther of a tomato flower is shaped like a hollow tube, with the pollen produced within the structure, rather than on the surface, as in most species.In an outdoors setting, wind or animals usually provide sufficient motion to produce commercially viable crops.Meiosis is central to the processes by which diploid microspore mother cells within the anther give rise to haploid pollen grains, and megaspore mother cells in ovules that are contained within the ovary give rise to haploid nuclei.Fertilization leads to the formation of a diploid zygote that can then develop into an embryo within the emerging seed.In more temperate climates, it is not uncommon to start seeds in greenhouses during the late winter for future transplant.In 1994, Calgene introduced a genetically modified tomato called the FlavrSavr, which could be vine ripened without compromising shelf life.As of 2008, the heaviest tomato harvested, weighed 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz), was of the cultivar "Delicious", and was grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986.The plant has been recognized as a Guinness World Record Holder, with a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and a total weight of 522 kg (1,151 lb).Yong Huang, Epcot's manager of agricultural science, discovered the unique plant in Beijing, China.Huang brought its seeds to Epcot and created the specialized greenhouse for the fruit to grow.The vine grew golf ball-sized tomatoes, which were served at Walt Disney World restaurants.In 2019, world production of tomatoes was 181 million tonnes, with China accounting for 35% of the total, followed by India and Turkey as major producers (see table).Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is a vegetable for culinary purposes because of its savoury flavour (see above).Ripe tomatoes contain significant umami flavor and they are a key ingredient in pizza, and are commonly used in pasta sauces.It is used in diverse ways, including raw in salads or in slices, stewed, incorporated into a wide variety of dishes, or processed into ketchup or tomato soup.The leaves, stem, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the alkaloid tomatine, whose effect on humans has not been studied. They also contain small amounts of solanine, a toxic alkaloid found in potato leaves and other plants in the nightshade family.Compared to potatoes, the amount of solanine in unripe green or fully ripe tomatoes is low.100 g of raw tomatoes supply 18 kilocalories and are a moderate source of vitamin C (17% of the Daily Value), but otherwise have no significant nutrient content (table).There is no conclusive evidence to indicate that the lycopene in tomatoes or in supplements affects the onset of cardiovascular diseases or cancer. In a scientific review of potential claims for lycopene favorably affecting DNA, skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation, heart function and vision, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that the evidence for lycopene having any of these effects was inconclusive.Female P. operculella use the leaves to lay their eggs and the hatched larvae will eat away at the mesophyll of the leaf.The town of Buñol, Spain, annually celebrates La Tomatina, a festival centered on an enormous tomato fight.Flavr Savr was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food licensed for human consumption.Embracing it for this protest connotation, the Dutch Socialist party adopted the tomato as their logo.
Is a Tomato a Fruit? It Depends on How You Slice It
The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court where, in 1893, Justice Horace Gray ruled in favor of vegetable.This was neither the first nor the last time that the Supreme Court was forced to struggle with botanical definitions of food.“The Supreme Court has just decided that beans are vegetables,” commented a gleeful Iowa newspaper.That cultured city can no longer push them on to a suffering world as fruit.”.Oklahoma’s State Vegetable: The Watermelon.State flowers were soon followed by a host of other official state symbols, among them birds, trees, animals, insects, reptiles, fossils, minerals, gemstones, songs, and folk dances.Two—Georgia and South Carolina—chose the peach; Alabama—unable to make up its mind—picked the blackberry as state fruit and the peach as the state tree fruit.Tennessee and Ohio went with botany and chose the tomato as their state fruit; Arkansas, hedging its bets, decreed the tomato to be both the state’s official fruit and official vegetable.Louisiana, on the other hand, appointed the sweet potato state vegetable, but named the tomato the state’s official “vegetable plant.” (Louisiana’s state fruit is the strawberry; they’ve also got a state doughnut, a state jelly, and a state meat pie.).Our word fruit comes to us from the Latin fructus or frui, meaning to enjoy; vegetable, a more stolid, commonsensical kind of word, comes from vegetabilis, which means growing (as in plants).In early America, cautionary tales of moral instruction sternly warned that stealing fruit was the sort of gateway sin that led children straight to a life of crime.“What ought a boy do who has stolen a green watermelon?So young Twain took the watermelon back to the farmer and conned him into apologizing and handing over a ripe one.The watermelon, Oklahoma, is not a vegetable.It’s a fruit. .
Nix v. Hedden
Nix v. Hedden, 149 U.S. 304 (1893), was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that, under U.S. customs regulations, the tomato should be classified as a vegetable rather than a fruit. The Court's unanimous opinion held that the Tariff Act of 1883 used the ordinary meaning of the words "fruit" and "vegetable," instead of the technical botanical meaning.At the trial, the plaintiffs' counsel entered into evidence definitions of the words "fruit" and "vegetables" from Webster's Dictionary, Worcester's Dictionary, and the Imperial Dictionary.I think the words 'fruit' and 'vegetable' have the same meaning in trade today that they had on March 1, 1883.The plaintiffs' counsel read in evidence from the same dictionaries the definitions of the word tomato, while the defendant's counsel then read in evidence from Webster's Dictionary the definitions of the words pea, eggplant, cucumber, squash, and pepper.The Court's decision [ edit ].Botanically, a tomato is a fruit.Justice Gray, citing several Supreme Court cases (Brown v.
Piper, 91 U.S. 37, 42, and Jones v. U.S., 137 U.S.
202, 216) stated that when words have acquired no special meaning in trade or commerce, the ordinary meaning must be used by the court.In making his decision, Justice Gray mentioned another case where it had been claimed that beans were seeds — Justice Bradley, in Robertson v. Salomon, 130 U.S.
412, 414, similarly found that though a bean is botanically a seed, in common parlance a bean is seen as a vegetable.Nix has been cited in three Supreme Court decisions as a precedent for court interpretation of common meanings, especially dictionary definitions. .