Scientific Binomial Name: Physalis philadelphica
Tomatillo is a small spherical shaped berry of tomato family used as a vegetable. It was originated in Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs centuries before the Spanish explorers introduced it elsewhere. Binomially, the fruit is the member of Solanaceae or nightshade family of fruits and vegetables, which also includes tomato, ground-cherry, potato, eggplant, chili peppers etc. Its exquisite tart and sweet qualities make it one of the much sought-after ingredients in Central American sauce preparations.
Selection, Usage and Storage Information
Selection: While buying, look for fresh, firm, unripe berries featuring bright green color since they have superior tart flavor and preferred in cuisines.
Usage: To prepare, peel the husk by hand and wash them thoroughly in cold water to remove sticky residue from the surface. Fresh tomatillos can be used raw and cooked in recipes.
Here are some serving tips:
Tomatillos are the main ingredients used in variety of Mexican mole (sauce) preparations.
The berries are commonly used in Enchilada verde (green) sauce.
To prepare salsa verde, cooked and pureed green tomato, blended with roasted jalapeno, onions, garlic, herbs like cilantro and served over tortilla, seafood, fritters, etc.
Guacamole is a popular avocado based Mexican spread prepared with chopped tomatillo, peppers, onion, lime juice, and served over tortilla chips.