Geek Trivia

Which State Has The Same Plant As Its Official Fruit And Vegetable?

New Jersey
Work On Which Of These Sci-Fi Movies Actually Led To Real World Scientific Papers?
A box of ripe Arkansas tomatoes
Arkansas Department of Agriculture

Answer: Arkansas

The status of the humble tomato is a matter of some contest depending on who you ask. Botanists will tell you that a tomato is most certainly a fruit, as it is the ovary and seeds of a flowering plant. Practically, however, thanks to its low sugar content and the propensity to serve it with the main course instead of with the dessert course (as is the practice with fruit), both chefs and the common person consider it a vegetable.

The State of Arkansas opted to avoid (or perhaps embrace) the whole controversy by choosing to make the tomato, specifically the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato, both the official state fruit (on account of its botanical classification) and the official state vegetable (on account of its culinary classification).

Hopefully, the folks from Arkansas can mediate any fights that may arise between the folks from Ohio (where the tomato is the state fruit) and New Jersey (where the tomato is the state vegetable).

If you’re looking for an official word on the matter (and you’re a fan of trivia like we are), then you might want to skip what individual states have to say about the matter and consider the stance of the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in 1893, for the purposes of settling a trade and tariff dispute in the case of Nix v. Hedden, that the tomato was in fact a vegetable.