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The tomato: fruit, vegetable or berry?

U.S. Supreme Court called it a veggie

Well, which is it, fruit or vegetable?

This was the question in 1893.

The Mexican growers were importing tomatoes at prices the American growers felt were just a little too competitive.

The American growers sent a letter to Congress and asked for a tariff tax on the Mexican imports.

The Mexicans, thinking they could get around the duty on vegetable imports, started to refer to their tomatoes as fruit.

The question was finally resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that it was a vegetable.

Interestingly, it’s arguable that the tomato is a fruit. It has a flesh encased seed, by definition a fruit.

It’s a member of the vegetable kingdom and hence a vegetable.

To confuse the issue even further, it has multiple seeds and can be classified as a berry.

Whatever it is — fruit, berry or vegetable — it’s the only item of produce that ever required a special United States Supreme Court ruling.

And it’s the only item celebrated in an annual four-day festival in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

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