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Tamarillo also known as ‘Tree Tomato’, is egg shaped. Tamarillo is native to Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia. The skin is thin and differs from being red, golden to amber. In golden/amber tamarillo’s the flesh is yellowish. In red and amber colored tamarillo’s, the pulp is light to dark red. The flesh of the tamarillo is tasty and mildly sweet, and may be compared to kiwifruit, tomato, or passion fruit. The seeds in the centre of the fruit are small and edible.
Main nutrients
Calcium, Carotene, Niacin, Phosphorus, Iron, Protein, Vitamin C and Thiamin.
The bitter skin of the tamarillo is commonly not eaten. To remove the skin, just peel off with a knife, or alternatively plunge the fruit into boiling water for about a minute and then into ice water. After that, the skin will come right off. Now the tamarillo can be sliced and eaten raw or further prepared by cooking, or converting it into juice.
Tamarillo is often eaten out-of-hand as a snack. The fruit has a sweet/tart flavor and is therefore popular for salads, stews, jams, jellies, juices, and stuffing cakes. The skin can be eaten, but has a very bitter taste. When lightly sugared and cooled the flesh of the tamarillo makes a refreshing breakfast dish.
When to eat
Tamarillo’s are ripe when they are soft. Unripe ones can be ripened at room temperature. When ripe, keep refrigerated and consume within a few days.
Did you know?
In New Zealand, most children gently squeeze the ripe fruit until it is soft and squeeze the flesh directly into their mouth. The tamarillo occurs naturally in the Andes at altitudes between 1000 and 3000 m.