The tree tomato is a small egg shaped oval fruit. After the year 1967 the tree tomato was was given a new name called the “TAMARILLO” by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Council in order to distinguish it from the garden tomato and to also increase its exotic appeal. The color varies from yellow and orange to red and almost purple. The red fruits are acetous and the yellow and orange fruits are sweeter. The flesh has a firm texture and contains larger and more number of seeds than a regular tomato. It is low in calories and high in vitamins and iron.
These jewelled beauties were sent to us by a family who grow their own produce up the hills. I was very intrigued looking at it . They did present a pretty picture. In my enthusiasm I offered a fruit to my dad and I ate one myself. After a bite I knew that they could not be eaten raw, but being the healthy eater that my dad is, he managed to finish the whole fruit. In its raw form without peeling off the skin it is quite tart with a strong bitter taste. I knew that I needed to put some work into it to make it edible.
It’s best to use the tamarillos by taking off the skin and scooping out the flesh. I decided to make a relish out of the tamarillos. I had a base idea and went about making the relish. After boiling and blitzing and stirring I was quite convinced that it was a relish well done. But having tasted the raw fruit I was still not sure if I had done enough to take away the distinct bitter after taste. After a spoon of tasting I was in utter dismay because the bitterness was still very overpowering. It was quite strong for people to eat it, leave alone relish it. Then after many more additions and tastings I decided that the relish was done. With a lot of trepidation I served it to my husband and was looking at him for his approval. After he ate a few spoonfuls I heaved a sigh of relief that it couldn’t be so bad after all.
This relish can be refrigerated and used over a few days. I received from a very dear family member a very good looking container which I have been itching to use. I used the container to photograph the relish in the pruned lawn in my garden. This relish or chutney is good with meat. The vegetarians also have a lot of options to eat this relish with. It works with toasted bread, chappathis, pancakes , baked panner and also with the North Indian snack Khakra !!