Tomatillos are a type of fruit that belongs to the nightshade family. They get their name from the Spanish word “tomate,” which means tomato. This plant produces small yellow or green fruits that are actually a type of berry. The fruit has a papery outer covering that must be removed before eating. It can be used in raw salsa and other recipes, but most people prefer to remove the coverings and cook them before eating them.
While tomatillos are usually cooked, can you eat them raw?
Tomatillos can be eaten raw, but they have an intense flavor that’s not for everyone. While it may be possible to eat some tomatillos raw, most people prefer to cook them first because it neutralizes their acidic taste and makes them easier to digest.
Are Raw Tomatillos Safe To Eat?
Tomatillos, also known as green tomatoes or husk tomatoes, are members of the nightshade family that produce small fruits with a papery outer skin. Although they have many culinary uses, raw tomatillos are not safe to eat because they contain tomatine and other alkaloids that can cause symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Tomatine is a glycoalkaloid toxin found in all members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae). Raw tomatillos contain high levels of tomatine, which can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal distress if consumed in large quantities.
If you’re planning to eat raw tomatillos, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation to avoid any health problems.
What Do Raw Tomatillos Taste Like?
The flavor of tomatillos varies based on where they were grown, how long they’ve been stored and whether or not they’ve been cooked. Raw tomatillos should be firm but tender when you squeeze them gently between your fingers. If they’re too firm, they’re probably old and won’t taste very good unless you cook them first.
Raw tomatillo pods have a slightly acidic flavor that can overwhelm more delicate dishes if there’s too much in one dish. Cooking them helps mellow out their flavor so it doesn’t overpower other ingredients that are being used in the same dish. Tomatillos also tend to lose some of their tartness when they are cooked, which makes them easier to work with when you’re cooking Mexican food or other types of Latin American cuisine.
How To Prepare Raw Tomatillos
Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cooking, and they’re also easy to grow in your garden. These small green fruits are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants. They can be eaten raw or cooked, but their flavor is much more intense when they’re cooked.
When you’re ready to use them in a recipe, you’ll need to prepare them first. Here’s how:
Step 1: Wash the tomatillos under cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel.
Step 2: Slice through the husk of each tomatillo with a paring knife or sharp knife, exposing the fruit inside. Remove the outer shell and discard it.
Step 3: Cut the tomatillo open lengthwise, exposing its fleshy interior and seeds (if any). Use your fingers or a spoon to remove all of the seeds from each fruit; discard them if desired (they will add bitterness).
What Can You Do With Raw Tomatillos
Tomatillos are a fruit that’s often used in Mexican cooking. They look like small green tomatoes with papery husks around them.
Tomatillos can be eaten raw or cooked, but they have a flavor that’s more tart and tangy than tomatoes. Tomatillo recipes include salsas, chutneys, sauces, and soups.
You can also use tomatillos to make jellies, pickles, or relishes. You can even make wine from them!
Here are some ideas for using raw tomatillos:
In salads: Add sliced or diced raw tomatillos to your favorite salad recipe. You can also add them to a salsa or guacamole recipe before serving it hot off the grill.
In salsas: Use raw tomatillos to make pico de gallo or other salsas by mashing them up with onions and cilantro (coriander). Add seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic powder for extra flavor. Put your salsa on top of grilled chicken wings for an easy appetizer everyone will love.
In sauces: Make a sauce for grilled meat by combining chopped tomatillos with onion slices and fresh herbs like parsley or mint.
Are tomatillos better cooked or raw?
Tomatillos have a very unique flavor and are best used raw. They have a tart taste, so they are often used to make sauces. When cooked, they become sweeter and lose some of their distinctive tartness.
However, tomatillos should not be cooked for long periods of time because they tend to get mushy when cooked for too long. Instead, they should be added towards the end of cooking or served raw as part of salsa or salad.
Tomatillos are also great in raw recipes such as salsas and salads because of their crunchy texture. They add a nice contrast to other ingredients such as soft avocados and juicy tomatoes.