Thursday, August 20, 2009


Our friend Ronette gave us some from her garden. Tamarillos, or tree tomatos, are gorgeous looking fruits, but don't let the good looks deceive you, they are terribly sour and bitter, best eaten stewed. Which is what I'm doing right now.

The first time we came across these were when we holidayed on the Cook Islands, before we moved to NZ. We bought six, washed them, and put then in a fruit bowel in our room. I couldn't help myself and bit into one, and it was so sour I shrunk 6 inches instantly. Not believing that was the way the fruit was supposed to taste, I picked up another one immediately. The rest went into the garbage.

A few years ago, I bought a bunch and made chutney with onion, chili and raisins. As usual, I didn't consult any recipes, but mysteriously I got spectacular results, but I've never been able to replicate it. I might give it another try this year.


  1. We hand one in our garden when we bought the house 40 years ago. It was very pretty, but I never found a way to use the fruit. We replaced it with fruit we liked (oranges, bananas, mangoes and more).

  2. This is a perfect example that looks can be deceiving! They certainly look inviting.

  3. I've never heard of these - They look like they would be sweet like a plum!

  4. TOG, they do make great chutney, though.

    Kate, I know! And they smell nice, too.

    DCP, I used to be 6 feet tall!!

  5. Miss them terribly! They remind me of Umeboshi (Japanese sour plum) in their photographed state. They are a native of the South Americas and they were a delight for me as a child in NZ especially as a pudding my mother made with a sponge topping. If left until they are quite soft and really dark red with the skin beginning to wrinkle they are really sweet, the sweetness coming from the over-ripeness. A little sugar sprinkled on the cut fruit makes a nice palate freshener and sliced on fresh bread and butter made a sandwich for school in my early years. Cannot afford them in Australia at $1.99 each. Lesley Expat Kiwi

  6. "It was so sour I shrunk 6 inches instantly"
    Crikey Meg, I thought you knew me better than to post stuff like that.

    I was tempted to write "So you ate 3 of then, then?" but I thought better of it.
    Probably a wise move, too....

  7. Tamarillo and Apple Crumble is awesome!
    We used all the fruit from our tree in this way :)


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