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FutureStarrTomato a fruit
Everybody knows the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, right? Fruits are tempting and scrumptious. Adam and Eve, unable to resist one, were booted from the blissful Garden of Eden; a fruit kicked off the Trojan War; and a fruit so seduced kidnapped Persephone in the Underworld that she simply couldn’t help taking a bite, thus landing the rest of us forevermore with the chilly season of winter. Vegetables don’t pack this kind of punch. Vegetables, traditionally, are the stuff kids push around on their plates and hide under theirmashed potatoes.
To a botanist, a fruit is an entity that develops from the fertilized ovary of a flower. This means that tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, corn kernels, and bean and pea pods are all fruits; so are apples, pears, peaches, apricots, melons and mangos. A vegetable, botanically, is any edible part of a plant that doesn’t happen to be a fruit, as in leaves (spinach, lettuce, cabbage), roots (carrots, beets, turnips), stems (asparagus), tubers (potatoes), bulbs (onions), and flowers (cauliflower and broccoli). The classical vegetable/fruit story is the tetchy tale of the tomato. In 1886, importer John Nix and colleagues landed a load of West Indian tomatoes at the Port of New York where the resident customs official—one Edward Hedden—demanded payment of a ten percent tax in accordance with the Tariff Act of 1883, which levied an import duty on “foreign vegetables.” Nix, who knew his botany, objected, on the grounds that the tomato –a fruit — should be tax-exempt. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court where, in 1893, Justice Horace Gray ruled in favor of vegetable.
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.) (Source: www.nationalgeographic.com)