This perennial is native to Mexico and was used by the Aztecs. Unlike other Physalis fruits (the Cape gooseberry and the ground cherry), the tomatillo completely fills the Chinese-lantern-looking husk that is characteristic of physalis – in this case filled with "little green tomatoes" about the size of a large cherry tomato (1-2" diameter) with a tart flavor that develops once you cook them.
They are grown just like tomatoes. Fruits grow on rangy plants which can reach 3’ to 4’ and sprawl in all directions. Tomatillos like hot weather. Provide plenty of water and mulch around the plant to retain water.
It's a key ingredient of Mexican salsa verde when harvested immature. When ripe, it turns from pale green to golden and the flavor is sweeter. It’s still luscious in tart-sweet salsas, but also wonderful in pies, jams, chutneys or stews. They are heavenly skewered, brushed with olive oil and grilled, as an accompaniment to meat or chicken.
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