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Fruit or Veggie?


Garden tomato salad

The tomato is a complicated item. Its pronunciation isn’t the only conundrum—toe-may-toe or toe-mah-to? Many also wonder: Is it a fruit or a veggie?

Here’s an interesting piece of trivia: Tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but legally a vegetable—according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Nix v. Hedden (1893), the Court unanimously ruled that tomatoes are considered a vegetable within the meaning of the Tariff Act of 1883, which puts a tariff on vegetables but not fruit.

What’s in a name, or a definition for that matter? To me, tomatoes are simply fleshy, oozy goodness. In my book, they’re the ultimate comfort food. As a kid, my granny used to make the best summer sandwiches—white bread, mayo, bacon bits and tomatoes with their skin peeled off with loving care. And in the winter, my mom would warm up a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and serve it with a few pieces of cheese toast.


Picnic tables at Preston

I had a great tomato yesterday thanks to my friend Kristen who packed a picnic for our Wine Country getaway. We bought some homemade bread and cheese and a bottle of Preston Winery’s organic Sauvignon Blanc, sliced up the tomatoes and soaked in the sun. Could life be better?