Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tree tomato

The tree tomato in my mom's garden - either Solanum betaceum or Cyphomandra betacea, I'm not sure which is current -  is loaded with ripe fruit. Nobody seems to like it except me. I cut the fruit in half, sprinkle it with some sugar and scoop the fleshy insides out with a teaspoon. The texture is like tomato, but more jelly-like and the flavour hard to describe. A little tropical, a little tart.

Occasionally I see them sold at Fairway, or Dean and Deluca, where the individual fruit cost anywhere between $1 and $3. I have never figured why they, and passion fruit and cactus pears, cost so much, as they grow so prolifically and do not seem fragile in terms of transport.

It rained all night, so softly that we could not hear it on the corrugated roof of the house, but the gutters ran and the click frogs delighted. There may be waterfalls on the mountain, and I am hoping for some mushrooms later in the week.


  1. These are also called tomatillos, right?

  2. The only thing that really bothers them is wind;their weak wood snaps easily. And, of course, they are not true tropicals(boo-hoo)But I so love them I do sometimes buy a couple.Dark, wine-red skins, luscious flesh...oh, now I'm craving.

  3. You also like them? Super. We have them in our complex gardens and I seem to be the only one who picks them. Friends say that they have an abundance of vitamin C and other good free-radical fighters, too. Geniet jou besoek in die Kaap.

  4. Tamarillo, not tomatillo.
    Envious! Enjoy and savor this journey home.


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