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Tamarillo
Solanaceae
Solanum betaceum


heidbenati
heidbenati
Flower Petal # 1
Main Color    
Color 2    
Type Categories Useful Parts

Tree

Solanaceae Family

Solanum Genus

Location

The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia. It is cultivated in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Portugal, the United States and Venezuela. It is grown as a commercial crop for international export in New Zealand and Portugal. The first crop produced in Australia occurred around 1996.

Physical Description
Solanum betaceum is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae. It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. Other names include tree tomato and tomate de árbol. In Indonesia it is known as terong Belanda or Dutch eggplant.


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Solanaceae
Nightshade Family
Solanales
Solanales
Nightshade Order
Euasterids I
Euasterids I
Real Stars Group One
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information


Prior to 1967, the tamarillo was known as the "tree tomato" in New Zealand, but a new name was chosen by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Promotions Council in order to distinguish it from the ordinary garden tomato and increase its exotic appeal. The choice is variously explained by similarity to the word "tomato", the Spanish word "amarillo", meaning yellow, and a variation on the Maori word "tama", for "leadership". It is still called Tree Tomato in most of the world.

The fruit can be between 2 and 8 centimeters in length. They are held on the tree in clusters as are many other clustered fruit, such as cherries. The trees are grown from cuttings and are very frost-tender when young. They are shallow-rooted and respond to deep mulching and abundant water. The tree can grow to a little more than 6 meters but it is subject to wind damage and needs shelter. It will bear fruit after two years and a single mature tree in good soil will carry more fruit than a normal family can eat for about 3 months. A well-nourished tree can produce up to 66 kilograms of fruit in a year. When the tree is about 1 to 1.5 meters in height it is advisable to cut the roots on one side and lean the tree to the other (direction of the midday sun at about 30 to 45 degrees). This allows fruiting branches to grow from all along the trunk rather than just at the top.

The fruit is eaten by scooping the flesh from a halved fruit, but in New Zealand children palpate the ripe fruit until it is soft then bite off the stem end and squeeze the flesh directly into their mouths. When lightly sugared and cooled, the flesh makes a refreshing breakfast dish. In addition, they give a unique flavor when compoted or added to stews (such as Boeuf Bourguignon), hollandaise, chutneys, and curries. They are also tasty and decorative in, for example, radicchio salads. Appetizing desserts using this fruit include bavarois and combined with apples in a strudel. In Colombia, Ecuador and Sumatra, fresh tamarillos are frequently blended together with water and sugar to make a juice. It is also available as a commercially pasteurized purée.

The flesh of the tamarillo is tangy and mildly sweet, and may be compared to kiwifruit, tomato, or passion fruit. The skin and the flesh near it have an unpleasant bitter taste, and usually aren't eaten raw.



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Comment: Tamarillo, Solanum betaceum

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