Why Eat It

Why Eat It

This subtropical "tree tomato" is, in fact, related to the tomato (as well as to the potato and eggplant). It looks like an elongated plum, with a purplish-red or crimson skin; its dark orange flesh has a plumlike texture but a bitterish, somewhat astringent flavor. A half cup of tamarillo supplies about 50 calories. This fruit is a good source of fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Tamarillos grown in California are available in late fall and winter; in other months, you can find imports from New Zealand. Look for well-colored fruit that gives just slightly to finger pressure; ripen at room temperature if necessary.

They can be served fresh, sliced or pureed as a dessert topping (but will need sweetening); or cooked and eaten (like tomatoes) with savory foods and seasonings. Either way, they must be peeled. Immerse them in boiling water for three to five minutes, as you would peaches, to loosen the skins.

Date Published: 04/21/2005
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