Happy Sunday amigos! I hope you’ve all enjoyed the weekend and are ready for another work week. Today I want to share a new fruit I found this past week. The fruit is called tamarillo. It was the tamarillo’s color that drew me to it at the green grocers. Whenever there are new fruits or vegetables to try I simply must bring them home with me. Since this is a completely new fruit to me I did a little research to see how I should eat or cook it.
Tamarillos* are native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Columbia and Bolivia. Nowadays they are cultivated in many of the subtropical areas of the world. These vibrant egg-shaped fruits are also know as tree tomato, tomate de arbol, or dutch eggplant. They are in the same plant family as tomatoes, the nightshade plant.
Tamarillos whose skin feels like an unripe tomato, can be yellow or red in color. The yellow one are said to have a sweeter flavor resembling mangoes or apricots. The red variety are tart with a strong aftertaste. These colorful fruits can be eaten by scooping out the flesh, or made into compotes, chutneys, sauces, or blended into drinks.
I decided that in order to fully taste the fruit I’d cut it in half and scoop it out. Everything I read said that tamarillos would taste tart, bold, complex, a little sweet, and resemble many tropical fruits. (Ha!) After it was sliced in half I took a smell and it was a mildly fruity. The flesh really does look like its relative the tomato. The first bite tasted a bit like a tomato but at the same time it didn’t. Perhaps it was the taste my mind was expecting. After another bite it tasted something like a bad papaya. But then again I just couldn’t really identify the unique taste and what it most resembled. Last bite of the first half and I decided I just didn’t like the astringent taste.
The second tamarillo half I sprinkled sugar over it. Apparently it is a common thing to do and it should help sweeten the fruit more. The taste was better but I still wouldn’t say I liked it. Being that I just don’t like to waste food I continued eating the remainder. You might have noticed the glass of water in the photos. In between bites of the fruit I took sips of the water to wash it down. Afterwards the taste lingered in my mouth, on my taste buds and on my teeth. Trying to get rid of the taste I continued drinking glass after glass of water to no avail. Eventually I got rid of the astringent taste by eating a couple of bread sticks. Sweet my @*#!
Needless to say this was the first and will be the only tamarillo I purchase. What about you, have you ever eaten tamarillos? If so what was your experience? Maybe I just bought a bad or unripe one. I’m rather curious as to what you all think of them.
Have a great Sunday and I’ll see back here in a couple of days for a brand new recipe.