The history of the Tomatillo

The history of the Tomatillo

The tomatillo is thought to have been first domesticated by the Aztecs in central Mexico around 800 BCE and was a staple food crop to several pre-Columbian peoples including the Mayans. 

The name tomatillo (which means “little tomato” in Spanish) is most commonly seen in green known as Verde, but the Morado (purple) variety is also quite popular. With the Spanish conquests of Mexico and Central America in the 1500s and 1600s, the plant was taken back to Spain, though it wasn’t as well liked as the related tomato and did not persist in the region. 

In the 1950s, tomatillos were introduced to India, where the fruit has become incorporated into a number of traditional dishes and is locally cultivated.

Tomatillo, (Physalis philadelphica), also called Mexican ground cherry or Mexican husk tomato, is an annual plant of the nightshade family. They are prized for its tart edible fruits and are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and niacin.

The fruits can be eaten raw but most often tomatillos and spicy peppers are roasted and then ground together to form salsa Morado or Verde. The sauce is used as a condiment on meats and other foods. Verde Tomatillos are usually more tart than the Morado or purple variety.

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