Tomatillos were domesticated in Mexico before the coming of Europeans, and played an important part in the culture of the Maya and the Aztecs, more important than the tomato. The specific name philadelphica dates from the 18th century.
Tomatillos are a key ingredient in fresh and cooked Mexican and Central-American green sauces. The green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Like their close relatives, cape gooseberries, tomatillos have a high pectin content. Another characteristic is they tend to have a varying degree of a sappy sticky coating inside the husk, mostly when used on the green side of ripe. Pick when still green in colour, once they start to turn yellow and fall from the plant they are often over-ripe.
Tomatillo plants are highly self-incompatible, and two or more plants are needed for proper pollination. Isolated tomatillo plants rarely set fruit. Ripe tomatillos keep refrigerated for about two weeks. They keep even longer with the husks removed and the fruit refrigerated in sealed plastic bags.
Plants grow to 2m and have many branches laden with heavy fruit. Consider 'corralling' plants together so support is given to all.
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