September 27, 2013
While at my weekly visit to the farmer’s market, I discovered produce that I had never heard of before. The vendor offered me to try a “tomatillo cherry”. She handed to me what looked like a miniature version of the regular tomatillo that I had often seen before. She assured me that they were sweet and delicious. I was not at all disappointed.
This is a picture of the tomatillo cherry inside the husk:
Once I peeled back the papery husk, the berry, for lack of better terms, looked like a tiny yellow tomato, about the size of a blueberry. The texture was also similar to a grape tomato, but with less water inside and much smaller seeds. The flavor is something so complex and subtle that I am still trying to come up with a decent description. It was slightly sweet like a red grape, but also had hints of pineapple and honey, with a very subtle sweet tomato aftertaste. I was immediately intrigued. I asked her how she used the tomatillo cherry, but due to our language barrier, hers being Spanish, mine English, it was difficult to discern how this delightful fruit could be used. I asked her if they could be made into a jam and she nodded yes. I also asked her if she had ever used them in a pie and she said yes. I bought a pint from her for a couple dollars and was on my way. Upon further research on the internet, the tomatillo cherry CAN be used in jams and pies, as well as salsas. I have decided to embark on making a jam with them. I have not yet decided if I will make the jam sweet or savory. The subtle flavor of the cherry makes it possible to go in either direction. Maybe I will do one of both and see how they differ… At any rate, stay tuned for the results and potentially some recipes involving the tomatillo cherry. If you have the opportunity to try or buy this golden treasure, I encourage you to do so. They are remarkable and a unique experience. If anyone out there has a recipe using the tomatillo cherry, please share it with me. I’d love to learn how this delicious fruit is used.
Here is a picture of the tomatillo cherry with the husks peeled off:
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