Tomatillos are small, round fruits that look like tomatoes and are picked when they are still green in late summer and early fall. They taste sharp and acidic and are often used in Mexican and southwestern cooking. These are common in the South but might sound like unripe tomatoes to people who don’t live there.
We like both raw and cooked tomatillos. A raw tomatillo is soft like an apple but firmer than a wet but not juicy one. The taste can be a little sweet, which is interesting because cooked tomatillos give a dish a wonderful “sourness.” Some people don’t think a tomatillo tastes like a cross between lemon and pineapple.
What’s the Difference Between Green Tomatoes and Tomatillos?
Because tomatillos are small and greeyou’ll like green tomatoes, they are often mistaken for green tomatoes, which are just normal tomatoes that haven’t ripened yet. But these two fruits are different species, even though they come from the same botanical family. Tomatoes that are still green are ones that didn’t turn red by the end of the growing season. So they are often seen in late summer and early fall when tomatillos are also in season.
But if you think back, you’ll remember that green tomatillos are just under” pe tomatillos, “and the two have a lot in common. Both have a sour, acidic taste and a firm, almost crunchy texture, and they can be used in many ways. The main difference between tomatillos and green tomatoes is that tomatillos have a husk and are much smaller than green tomatoes.
What are Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are in the Solanaceae family, including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and chile peppers. They are pronounced “toe-mah-TEE-you.” Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa), also called husk tomatoes, Mexican husk tomatoes, or jamberry, are native to the Americas. They grow most often in Mexico and Guatemala. Almost always, they are picked when they are still green, but as they ripen, they can turn yellow, purple, or red, depending on the cultivar. But unlike most fruits and vegetables, the most flavorful part of a tomatillo is when it is still green and not ripe.
Tomatillos are about an inch or two in diameter and smaller than tomatoes. They have a papery husk that splits as the fruit grows. The husk is green when the fruit is young but turns brown as it ripens. Tomatillos have a bright, acidic flavor and a firm texture when unripe. This makes them great for salsa, especially the Verde, soups, stews, stir-fries, don’t, chutneys, and dips like guacamole. If you don’t like them raw, they have a bright, sour taste, but when you cook them by braising, roasting, or grilling, the sourness goes away and is replaced by a mild sweetness. When added to chiles, tomatillos help make them less spicy.
How do you Eat a Tomatillo?
How do we eat tomatillos now that we know what they are? Is it a fruit that can be eaten raw, or do we have to cook it? We already know that the taste of tomatillos is a little bit sour. If you like a little bit of acidic food, tomatillos will be easy for you to eat. If you don’t like very acidic foods, it would be better for you to cook tomatillos. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy the fruit. Even though raw tomatillos aren’t usually tasty, some people still like them.
Adding tomatillos to other foods is a better way to eat them. The acidic taste of the fruit makes other foods taste better. Since both tomatillos and tomatoes are in the nightshade family, we can use either one in place of the other. Tomatillos taste good with sauces and jams as well. They taste great raw, roasted, blended, or made into jam. By far, the most popular dish made with tomatillos is salsa verde.
Usually, the fruit is mixed with garlic cloves, cilantro leaves, and chilis to make it. Tomatillos can also be used to top a dish that has been roasted. Another good way to eat this fruit is to boil it to make roasted salsa. You can fry tomatillos or make a soup with them. You can also make a drink out of them. You can also use them to make jams and chutneys that will last longer. Fresh and cooked tomatillos have a sweet and sour taste that can be used to make recipes that make your mouth water.
Where to Buy Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are sold in grocery store produce sections and farmer’s markets from the end of summer through the fall. Most of the time, they are sold in big piles, and within those piles, there can be a lot of differences. Look for tomatillos that are firm but not rock hard and have husks that look fresh and are mostly whole.
The husk can be split open, but you don’t want them to have been handled so much that the husks are ripped off or torn to pieces, and you don’t want them to have been sitting around for so long that the papery husk is brown or brittle from being dried out. The produce section of the grocery store should have fresh tomatillos. Look for garlic, tomatoes, and avocados. Some stores also sell tomatillos in cans. You can find these either in the aisle with the canned vegetables or in the aisle with the Latin products.
Store tomatillos at room temperature for a day or two or in the fridge for two to three weeks, wrapped loosely in paper towels. Leave the papery husks on until you’re ready to use them, no matter how you store them. Tomatillos can also be frozen. And take off the shells and wash and dry the beans.
What are Green Tomatoes?
Green tomatoes are just firm tomatoes that haven’t ripened yet. Depending on the type of tomato, they can be big or small. However, please don’t confuse them with a Green Zebra tomato, which stays green when it’s ripe. Green tomatoes and tomatillos are mostly the same except for their color and firmness. Green tomatoes are often sold in the fall when the weather is cooler, and the tomatoes don’t get enough heat to turn red. However, you can pick green tomatoes off the vine at any time.
There’s another type: heirloom tomatoes, which are green when ready. These also have their place, and they’re very tasty. But most of the time, when you hear the term “green tomatoes,” it means that the tomatoes aren’t ripe yet. Green tomatoes are sometimes picked before they are ripe on purpose, but most of the time, they are just tomatoes that didn’t ripen by the end of the growing season. Because of this, they are often seen in late summer and early fall. Green tomato season starts when the weather gets cold enough that tomatoes on the vine can no longer ripen.
How to Use Green Tomatoes?
First, you can sometimes ripen green tomatoes, but not always. You’ll need to keep them somewhere warm or at least not cold. It helps to keep them in a paper bag with ripening apples or bananas since they give off ethylene gas, which speeds up the process. Still, all this gets you is a regular red tomato that is ripe, which isn’t hard to find. Green tomatoes are something completely different, and you use them differently.
Green tomatoes can be cooked in ways that ripe tomatoes can’t because they are firmer and denser. One of the most common ways to cook green tomatoes is to slice them, coat them in corn meal, and fry them in a pan. This wouldn’t work with a ripe tomato because its soft texture and juice make it a soggy, clumpy mess.
Green tomatoes are great for frying but also great in soups, chutneys, salsas, relishes, and pickles. They also hold up well in baked dishes, like casseroles, because they are firm and can even go in a pie. After all, green tomatoes have a firm texture and a tart taste that are not too different from a green apple.
Green tomato pasta sauce, called Pomodoro Verdi in Italian, is another dish that people like. It’s easy to use green tomatoes instead of red ones in your favorite sauce recipe from scratch. Some variations add mint, dill, or arugula to play with the “green” taste. It would help if you considered putting them in a sandwich, like in a BLT, instead of ripe tomatoes.
What do Green Tomatoes Taste Like?
Even though they are firm like an apple, you don’t want to bite into a green tomato like you would an apple. The taste is neutral and tends toward sour, but the tartness goes away when you cook it. The taste of green tomatoes is sour, acidic, and sometimes even astringent. They are firm, almost crunchy, and don’t have as much juice as ripe tomatoes. Cooking them makes them less bitter, though.
Green tomatoes aren’t ripe yet, so they aren’t as juicy as red ones. They are firm and crunchy and taste sour and acidic, making them good for many things. The taste of green tomatoes is sour, acidic, and sometimes even astringent. They are firm, almost crunchy, and don’t have as much juice as ripe tomatoes. Cooking them makes them less bitter, though.
Where to Buy Green Tomatoes?
Green tomatoes are available at supermarkets and farmers’ markets towards the end of summer and early autumn. But make sure you don’t accidentally buy heirloom green tomatoes, which go by names such as green giant tomatoes, green tiger and emerald evergreen tomatoes. The green tomatoes we’re talking about should feel firm and solid, with a uniform pale green color—with no stripes or streaks like some of their heirloom cousins have.
You can buy green tomatoes at the end of summer and at the beginning of fall at grocery stores and farmer’s markets. But don’t buy heirloom green tomatoes by accident. They have names like green giant tomatoes, green tiger tomatoes, and emerald evergreen tomatoes.
Tomatoes are a type of fruit, and most fruit will ripen if given a chance. So, if you can, use your green tomatoes right away, unless you don’t mind if some of them try to turn red. It might or might not happen. Cold temperatures will slow the ripening process, so you can put them in the fridge for a few days before using them.
The tomato family includes both a green tomato and a tomatillo. Besides green zebra tomatoes, green tomatoes are hard, unripe tomatoes that haven’t changed color yet. Even when they are ready, they stay green. Tomatillos are the fruits of different plants, often called Mexican husk tomatoes or jamberries. They are also green and can turn yellow when they are ready. They have a sticky residue on them and a thick husk around them. When cooked, the thick skin makes them taste sour. Tomatillos have a taste that is sour, fruity, and herbal. These fruits taste and can be used differently, but mixing them up is easy.