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Vegetables

n everyday (non-technical) language, the words "fruit" and "vegetable" are mutually exclusive: plant products that are called fruits are hardly ever classified as vegetables, and vice versa. However, for scientists the word "fruit" also has a precise botanical meaning, which is considerably different from its common meaning. While peaches, plums, and oranges are "fruits" in both senses, many items commonly called "vegetables" — such as eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes — are technically fruits, as are also most cereals, as well as some spices like pepper and chili. On the other hand, many items commonly called "fruits" — including figs, pineapples, and strawberries — are not fruits in the strict botanical sense.[citation needed] The question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable found its way into the United States Supreme Court in 1893. The court ruled unanimously in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is correctly identified as, and thus taxed as, a vegetable, for the purposes of the 1883 Tariff Act on imported produce. The court did acknowledge, however, that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit

 

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