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What Are Tomatillos? Here’s What You Need to Know

What Are Tomatillos? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you love Mexican food, then you may know a thing or two about Tomatillos.

They’re mostly used as an ingredient in salsa verde, but these green fruits that look a lot like green tomatoes are good for more than just salsa.

They can be eaten raw or roasted and added into a bunch of delicious recipes.

Let’s take a closer look at this fruit and go over a number of ways it can be enjoyed.

What Are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos often go by the name of ‘Mexican green tomatoes’ and sometimes as ‘jamberries’. These little fruits are covered in a sticky liquid and are best enjoyed after they’re cooked.

This fruit that appears to be wrapped up in a papery husk (known as a calyx) comes from the species ‘Physalis Philadelphica’.

It contains a lot of tiny seeds and belongs to the nightshade family that includes potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

It’s also related to the Chinese lantern plant and cape gooseberries.

Is Tomatillo a Tomato?

Many people mistake tomatillos for tomatoes. Both of them are a part of the nightshade family and harvested in warmer climates, but these are the only considerable similarities between them.

Green tomatoes are hard and unripe tomatoes whereas tomatillos come from a completely different plant.

There are many differences in their appearance as well.

While tomatoes can be round or kidney-shaped and come in a variety of sizes, tomatillos are quite small or medium in size, they’re always round, and have papery husks around them.

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How to Pick out Tomatillos

If you’re wondering how to pick out the best tomatillos in the store, then here’s a tip for you. Always look for ones that are covered in dry husks and avoid buying them if they’re moist or shriveled up.

Another thing to  note is that the husks will be wrapped around them tightly.

This is an indication that they were picked right before they were beginning to ripen.

If you notice any dark spots on the fruit or find them to be soft and pale, then that’s a sign they’re about to go bad.

What Do Tomatillos Taste Like?

The reason why Tomatillos is often used in the Mexican recipe of salsa verde is that they’re quite acidic and citrusy in flavor.

They are most often cooked or roasted to give them a sweeter flavor. While they can be eaten raw it is important to keep in mind that they will taste tart.

Are Tomatillos Spicy?

Tomatillos are not inherently spicy in flavor. Since they’re used in sauces and salsas, it’s understandable why most people may think they’re spicy in taste when they aren’t.

The reason why they’re used in green sauces is to give them that beautiful color and enhance their flavor with a little bit of sweetness and tartness.

How to Use Tomatillos

If you’re looking for ways to use tomatillos in your daily meals, then we’ve got some amazing ideas for you.

Instead of just pureeing them and using them in salsa, you can try adding them into curries or vinaigrettes to really boost their flavor.

You can also add them in your favorite recipe of chili and or braise them with chicken or any other meat to make a delicious stew.

My personal favorite way to eat them is by chopping them up raw and using them to replace tomatoes in Pico de Gallo.

You can also blend them into sour cream and use them as a sauce in chicken enchiladas or toss them into coleslaw with corn and take your boring slaw to the next level.

Serve the slaw next to your choice of grilled meat and enjoy the perfect summer meal.

Take a look at this video to learn how to cook tomatillos and incorporate them in delicious recipes.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned all about tomatillos, what are you waiting for? Head over to the grocery store and stock up on them to prepare delicious dinners for your family and friends.

These fresh and tangy fruits are perfect for summer meals and can be cooked up however you want.

You can blend them into green sauces, mix them in with salads, or cook them in a slow cooker with your choice of meat.

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