Author Topic: Tomatillos  (Read 759 times)

Obelixx

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Tomatillos
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:26:57 »
Saw Rick Stein's Mexico prog last night, praising tomatilloes.

Does anyone grow them and, if so, is the flavour worth it and do you get a good crop?
Obxx - Vendée France

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Tomatillos
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:26:57 »

Paulh

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 10:51:49 »
I've grown them for three or four years and have had more than I can use in the past. This year they were late and the fruits hadn't developed as much before the colder, darker days, and then the frost, came in. You need two plants for pollination apparently. Let them grow as bushes, flopping over, and there are easily 30 decent fruits on a plant.

The fruits are curiously sticky, with a grainy texture, and a citrus taste. I think they are better sliced raw in salad than cooked.

I probably won't bother buying seed again, but I may retain a couple of the many seedlings that come up if I've a space for them.

Vinlander

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 11:18:40 »
I had no trouble growing them and the taste is what you expect, but they may be the ultimate "one trick pony" crop - if you don't need to make salsa verde that week then they are pretty useless.

One website recommends salsa verde made by just adding lime juice to sliced unripe tomatoes - but I'd try this at the yellow or pink stage because green toms are definitely much more bitter than tomatillos - incidentally if you grow delicious piccolo tomatoes (easy and true from the seeds in shop fruit) the intermediate stage is white - quite unusual.

I may try this with the last of this years crop, but next year I'll be replacing the lime with unripe grapes (aka/ verjuice).

I also think I have something better than unripe toms because I grow both the genuinely useful cape gooseberry and the even better, earlier and more productive Physalis pruinosa (sometimes called ground cherry but don't trust that).

If any of theses substitutes works at all I'll definitely not bother with tomatillos ever again.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Obelixx

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 11:42:29 »
Thank you both.  I can deal with under ripe tomatoes and also gluts very well so will try the green tomato and lime juice trick instead.

Obxx - Vendée France

galina

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 12:22:53 »
I find purple tomatillos taste better than the green ones.  But last year they were very late and did not turn purple.  Haven't bothered growing them this year.  :wave:

tai haku

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 12:24:54 »
I've grown them the last few years and will always make space for them as I use them to bulk out various things; chutneys and so forth as well as quite liking them simply roasted. They also seem to attract pollinators for us. I basically just ensure my volunteers keep coming now though as someone else mentioned they do self seed well. What I've done is add in a few different varieties and now look to ensure the earliest and best volunteer more by spreading their seed into new bits of the garden - I'm lucky though in that I have space to do that. if I had limited space I'd maybe not.

dr wyches is the variety I've done best with and i'm selecting for a dr wyches plus with a bit more purple

Obelixx

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 13:29:29 »
Thanks.  I'm a sucker for purple so may well try those.  I do have space so if they're good for pollinators that'll do for me.
Obxx - Vendée France

earlypea

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 17:15:36 »
Thanks for that Obelixx - I'll have to take a look on iplayer - I'd be interested to see how they really use them.

They are very easy and productive, but I would say the taste depends entirely on the kind of growing season we have.

Having only grown them two years in a row.  The first year I was entirely wowed by the flavour, extremely piquant a balance of sweet and sour and most unusual was adding them to stews and casseroles, roasting them and all sorts.

This year I had an enormous crop from the early heatwave, but they ripened in cool, cloudy weather and they only tasted sour not nice at all.

ed dibbles

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 17:24:54 »
The last time I grew tomatillos was about three years ago. After trying them under cover one year I found they set fruit better when planted outside. Neither did I find them hard to grow.

Next season I will be trying the very large type billed as the beefsteak of the tomatillos. I got the seed from Baker Creek because I fancied them.

https://www.rareseeds.com/rio-grande-verde-tomatillo/

One of the comments is from a grower in Suffolk who had success with them. (on page two of the comments)

Like tai haku I use them to bulk out things, along with much else I grow. :happy7:

Beersmith

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 18:00:19 »
As usual a plethora of informative and helpful replies. I was only reading out of interest, but now feel inspired to try growing a few next season. Thanks all.
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winecap

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 19:06:35 »
I grow them every year and I think, like a lot of things they will be more appreciated once you learn to use them. One great plus is that they store for ages. They will easily last until next years tomatoes so I eat them mostly once the tomatoes come to an end which is usually about Christmas. I haven't actually eaten any of this years crop yet. Looking forward to anchovy and tomatillo pizza, grilled tomatillo alongside burgers or bacon etc. I think you could use them in any way you might use a tomato, though the taste is distinctly different. I have grown them both inside and outside and strangely the fruit are usually bigger outside. Not sure why that would be. Perhaps my watering is inadequate.

George the Pigman

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2017, 17:44:47 »
I've grown them every year for the last 10-12 years. Easy to grow. Very few pests apart from slugs that eat the ripe fruits if they fall on the ground.
They are not just for salsa verde. Stir fry them or add them to stews. They are not really like green tomatoes. They have a flavour all their own

squeezyjohn

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2017, 13:29:38 »
I haven't grown them for a couple of years but I do remember the purple ones were amazingly healthy and productive plants.

They don't get blight, the plants are more robust than tomatoes in other ways too, the protective "cape gooseberry" type papery case seems to help preserve the fruits.

It's true they are not a direct substitute for tomatoes, they have more savoury taste, but if you leave the purple ones to fully ripen they are sweet and provide the same texture when cooked down.

The idea that you'd just grow these and use to make salsa verde is very strange.  I tried them in all sorts of different recipes and some of the stews and sauces were great.  Experimentation is the key.

Obelixx

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Re: Tomatillos
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2017, 18:35:40 »
My next trick will be to order the seeds without OH going "More seeds!!!" whilst not ordering any other seeds at the same time..........
Obxx - Vendée France

 

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