The tomatillo or husk tomato is a relative of the common tomato. Good tomatillos should still have a fresh looking husk on and the fruit should be firm to the touch. They are pleasantly tart, and principally used to make Mexican salsa verde.


Other names: Tomatillos
Translations: Томатільо, トマティロ, Томатильо, Miechunka pomidorowa, Томатилло

Physical Description

Small, a little bigger than the size of a golf ball, and generally green. Looks very much like an unripe tomato. Has a leafy greenish-brown husk.

Colors: Light green with a green-brown husk

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Acidic, Sour
Mouthfeel: Crisp, Tart, Green, Acidic
Food complements: Onions, Jalapenos, Meats, Cilantro, Avocado, Chocolate
Wine complements: Sauvignon blanc
Beverage complements: Horchata, Fruit juices
Substitutes: Tomatoes

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: may, june, july, august, september
Peak: july
Choosing: Look for firm fruit with a green skin and greenish-purple husk. Avoid yellowed or mushy fruits.
Buying: Tomatillos are widely available, especially in the Southern part of the United States and Latin America, and are often grouped with peppers. They may also be found at farmers markets and specialty grocery stores, especially those that cater to Hispanic cuisine.
Procuring: Tomatillos are grown much like their cousin the tomato, and prefer warmer climates (they are mainly grown in Texas.) The fruit is harvested in summer and early fall, when their husks begin to turn brown and crack open, revealing the shiny green fruit beneath. Take care to avoid fruit that has yellowed, as it is overripe.

Preparation and Use

Tomatillos are best utilized in Mexican and Latin America cuisine, such as salsas, guacamoles, and other types of sauces. They are also occasionally turned into jams and may be eaten raw. The most common ways of preparing the fruit are to either boil or roast until soft.

Cleaning: Remove the husk manually and wash via swirling in a bowl of cool water. Handle them much like you would a tomato.

Conserving and Storing

Tomatillos may be stored for up to a month in a paper bag in the refrigerator. They may also be turned into jellies or jams for later use.


Sometimes called the Mexican Green Tomato, the Tomatillo is widely used in Mexican and Latin American dishes as a way of enhancing meals.

History: The Aztecs grew Tomatillos as far back as 800 B.C. and they have been a wildly popular fruit in Mexican and Latin American cuisine since. These days they have migrated north of the border, being grown primarily in Texas.



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