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Tomatillos

Jun 30, 2017

Translation: little tomatoes. Tomatillos, also known as husk tomatoes, are the base of, the very popular, salsa verde.  They are not tomatoes, however. They belong to the nightshade family and are a close relative of the cape gooseberry.

Availability & Origin
They are available year-round and are native to Mexico and Central America. 

Appearance & Flavor
They are harvested while they're immature and the husks surrounding them are green. As the fruit ages after harvest, the husk begins to dry out, split, and fade to a light brown. Select dry, tight husks that are crisp and that are mold-free. When the fruit is not yet mature (dark green), they have a grassy, herb-like flavor with a hint of lemon. When mature (green-yellow), the flavor becomes sweeter, comparable to that of pineapples. Depending on what flavor profile you like; one can chose them immature or mature.

Storage
Store your tomatillos with the husks intact. Loose in the crisper drawer of the fridge, they'll last up to 10 days. At room temperature, you'll get a few days use from them.

Ways to Enjoy
Always remove the husks before consuming, and wipe off the sticky coating it leaves behind. Try them in salads, soups, salsas, and eggs dishes, or grilled, roasted, or raw. Take your tacos to the next level with this recipe.

History
It is believed that the Aztecs first used tomatillos around 800 B.C. Yet, recently, scientists discovered two tomatillo plants pressed in a 52 million-year-old rock in a lake in what is now known as Patagonia, making them the oldest nightshade plants. Learn more here.

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