Tasting Brazilian Tomatoes

by Andrea on December 13, 2011

Whenever I visit Portugal, I always make sure and visit the Feira de Espinho.  It’s a massive (10 street blocks) weekly outdoor street market.  You’ll find everything from knock-off perfumes to live ducklings to ribbon.

On my recent visit, I spied this basket amongst other produce and discovered ‘tomates brasileiros,’ or Brazilian tomatoes.

I asked the lady vendor, and she confirmed that it was a fruit and compared it to passion fruit.  Well then, this certainly counts as a fruit I’ve never had.  Plus she was so friendly that she insisted on cracking into one on the spot and making me try it.  Check out the pretty insides:

It certainly is not as sweet as passion fruit and was more tart and sweet ‘n sour.  My mom didn’t like it, but I found it pretty yummy… in a sour candy sort of way.  I think it would be scrumptious in fruit salad to cut down on the sweetness of other fruits. I bet it would also make a delicious jam.

After a little research at home, it turns out they are known by many names: English tomato, Japanese tomato, tamarilho/tamarillo, and most commonly called tree tomato around the world.

The lady was selling them for 1 Euro a kilo.  Check out my 1/2 kilo worth of loot!

Brazilian tomatoes grow in California, Australia, China, Brazil, Peru, and South Africa amongst many others locations.  After knowing this, I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t come across these sooner.  Back home, I plan on visiting our international markets to see if they carry them.  If you see one at your local market, be sure and pick one up.

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