Tamarillo | What is Tamarillo Fruit | What are the Health Benefits of Tamarillo Fruit| Uses of Tamarillo Fruit | Nutritional Value of Tamarillo Fruit
Solanum betaceum (syn. Cyphomandra betacea) is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae. It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. Other names include tree tomato and tomate de árbol. In Indonesia it is known as terong Belanda or Dutch eggplant.
Prior to 1967, the tamarillo was known as the “tree tomato” in New Zealand, but a new name was chosen by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Promotions Council in order to distinguish it from the ordinary garden tomato and increase its exotic appeal. The choice is variously explained by similarity to the word “tomato”, the Spanish word “amarillo”, meaning yellow, and a variation on the Maori word “tama”, for “leadership”. It is still called Tree Tomato in most of the world.
The tamarillo, also known as the tree tomato, is an unusual, exotic, subtropical fruit that can also be used in vegetable dishes. This is because it has two different variety types, one of which is more tart than the other and is good when used in vegetable recipes. Tamarillos are native to South America, specifically Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
The fruit is produced from a tamarillo tree, which is an evergreen that can grow to heights of up to 10 feet. The fruits that are produced from this tree grow either singly or in clusters. Additionally, the fruits are sized at approximately two to four inches in length. Although the tamarillo tree produces edible fruits, it also produces fragrant flowers that are colored pink, purple, and yellow.
Tamarillo fruit has an oval shape and an outer skin that is either red or purple toned, or yellow or orange toned. Additionally, the red or purple toned tamarillo fruit contains an inner flesh that is black while the yellow or orange tamarillo fruit contains an orange colored inner flesh. Although both types of tamarillos contain edible seeds, the flavor of the flesh within the two types varies considerably.
Red or purple toned tamarillos have a more tart taste than their yellow or orange toned counterparts. Because of this, the red or purple toned tamarillos are more frequently used as a vegetable than as a fruit. It is also important to note that on both types of tamarillos, the skin should not be eaten and should be removed prior to using the fruit.
You can purchase tamarillos year round at some larger supermarket chains and at some specialty fruit markets. When purchasing tamarillos, make sure that the outer skin is free of blemishes and defects and that the fruit has a smooth and shiny colored skin. Also, purchase only those tamarillos that are firm to the touch.
Once you have purchased your tamarillos, if the fruit is still hard to the touch (unripe), you should allow the fruit to ripen at room temperature until it softens a bit. Once the fruit has ripened, you can keep it fresh by storing it in your refrigerator. Once refrigerated, ripened tamarillos can be stored for up to ten days.
Uses of Tamarillo Fruit:
The following are the uses of Tamarillo Fruit in many ways:
* Slice raw, peeled tamarillos and decorate flans, cakes, cheesecakes and pizza.
* Add whole peeled tamarillos to a casserole or any dish (in the same way you would tomatoes).
* Try wedges of red and golden tamarillo with a cheese-board.
* Make an awesome sandwich with fresh wholemeal bread, cottage cheese and slices of peeled tamarillo.
* Toss peeled and sliced tamarillos through salad greens.
* Add a couple of peeled tamarillos to stewed apples – the perfect breakfast fruit or quick desert when served with custard.
* Sliced tamarillo sprinkled with a little salt is delicious on a cracker or toast.
* For an instant desert, cut the tamarillo in half, dust with icing sugar and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. Yum! Add some ice-cream for extra extravagance.
* Halve tamarillos, top with garlic butter and grill.
* Puree and sieve poached tamarillos – drizzle over deserts, grilled chicken, pork or fish.
* Dice tamarillo and avocado, add a little chopped chilli and onion for an awesome salsa.
* Spread a pizza base with sweet chilli sauce and top with slices of peeled tamarillo and green pepper, finely chopped bacon, and blobs of sour cream. Garnish with fresh coriander – devine!
* Pureed tamarillo makes an excellent marinade adding flavour and tenderising the meat.
* Tamarillos make great preserves, jams, chutneys, jellies, relishes, sauces and marmalades.
Health Benefits of Tamarillo Fruit:
Consumption of Tamarillo Fruit:
>> Tamarillo are suitable for raw consumption, by taking the skin off with a knife and cutting it into slices or cutting the fruit in half and eating the pulp with a spoon.
>> The pulp can be covered with sugar or salt, depending on your taste, can also be consumed in fruit salads, juice, deserts, jam.
Nutritional content of Tamarillo Fruit:
1. The Tamarillo helps to provide essential vitamins that the body needs such as the Vitamins A, C and provitamin A.
2. It is an excellent calcium, iron and potassium source. It also contains phosphorus and magnesium.
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