The tamarillo is a fruit shrub native to the tropics which bears delicious fruits with firm flesh and a tangy taste. The tree tomato cannot tolerate tightly compacted soil with low oxygen content. It requires fertile, light soil. It grows well on deep lateritic soil. Perfect drainage is necessary. Water standing for even a few days may kill the tree.

The tree tomato cannot tolerate prolonged drought and must have an ample water supply during extremely dry periods. Mulch is very beneficial in conserving moisture at such times.

Tree tomato flowers are normally self-pollinating. If wind is completely cut off so as not to stir the branches, this may adversely affect pollination unless there are bees to transfer the pollen. Unpollinated flowers will drop prematurely.


Food Uses

For those who are struggling to maintain a good and healthy weight, raw and fresh tree tomato a day will aid in that. The juice in the fruit acts as a detoxifier as its acidic properties aid in cutting down fat.

Tree tomatoes are also rich in vitamins and mineral salts. They also contain iron and potassium.

Ripe tree tomatoes may be merely cut in half lengthwise, sprinkled with sugar and served for eating by scooping out the flesh and pulp. Or the halves may be seasoned and grilled or baked for 15 minutes for service as a vegetable.

The fruit should not be cut on a wooden or other permeable surface, as the juice will make an indelible stain. For other purposes, the skin must be removed and this is easily done by pouring boiling water over the fruit and letting it stand for 4 minutes, then peeling is begun at the stem end.

The peeled fruit can then be sliced and the slices added to stew or soups, or served with a sprinkling of sugar and perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Seasoned with salt and pepper, the slices can serve as sandwich-filling or may be used in salads. Chopped slices are blended with cream cheese and used as sandwich spread.


Peeled, diced fruits, with diced onion, breadcrumbs, butter and appropriate seasonings are employed as stuffing for roast lamb. tTee tomato slices, alone, or combined with sliced apple, are cooked in pies. They may be packed in preserving jars with water or sugar syrup and cooked for 55 minutes, or may be put into plastic containers with a 50% syrup and quick-frozen for future use in pies or puddings.

The peeled fruits can be pureed in a blender or by cooking, strained to remove the seeds and then packed in plastic containers and frozen. Lemon juice may be added to the puree’ to enhance flavor. The peeled, stewed fruits are combined with gelatin, milk, sugar and lemon juice to make a dessert which is then garnished with fresh tree tomato slices.

Peeled, sliced and seeded tree tomatoes, with lemon rind, lemon juice and sugar, are cooked to a jam; or, with onions and apples, are made into chutney.

Whole, peeled fruits, with sugar, are cooked to a sauce for use on ice cream. The peeled fruits may be pickled whole, or may be substituted for tomatoes in a hot chili sauce.




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