What is Tomatillo?

Physalis philadelphica Lam.

Common names: Mexican Husk Tomato, Mexican Groundcherry, Philadelphia groundcherry. Jamberry, Tomate Fraise. (Fr); Tomate de cáscara, tomate de fresadilla, Tomate verde (Spanish)

Tomatillo is a small round edible fruit, purplish or yellow when ripe, but most often used when green, for salsas and when ripe, in Jam and preserves.

It belongs to the tomato family, Solanaceae together with eggplant,  peppers, potato, tobacco and the closely related Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana). The name Tomatillo means ‘little tomato’ in Spanish.

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Tomatillo is native to Mexico and is cultivated from Guatemala to USA, Australia and South Africa (Britannica)

The fruit is enclosed in papery greenish to brown husk (botanically known as calyx) and is used either green or ripe, but most often, green. The green fruit has a tart lemony flavour and when ripe, is slightly sweet.

It’s a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, and niacin. (Speciality Produce)

Culinary Use of Tomatillo

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Tomatillo is a Mexican staple, used fresh or cooked, in many dishes, especially in Salsa Verde (a cooked sauce for poultry and enchiladas) and Salsa cruda.

It can be added to soups, stews, salads, curries, stir-fries and meats.

It can also be used to make marmalade, chutney and in baking and desserts.

Canned tomatillos are also available and can be used when fresh ones are unavailable.

To use tomatillo you should remove the papery husk, clip off the stem and wash it.

Storage of the Fruit

The fruit can be stored for up to a year if picked before they are fully ripe and left inside their calyx. (Useful Tropical Plants)

Ripe tomatillos can be kept in the fridge for to two-three weeks.

SynonymPhysalis ixocarpa Brot. ex Hornem;

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myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: August 13th 2019

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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