Tomatillos (pronounced "toe-mah-tee-oh") are a cousin of tomatoes and a native of Mexico. It is a low growing, sprawling plant that can reach two feet in height. The fruits are generally small (one to two inches in diameter), sticky, and enclosed in papery husks. In Mexico, the common green-skinned varieties are referred to as green tomatoes (tomate verde) and are a staple in their traditional cuisine. Green tomatillos are the main ingredient for fresh and cooked green sauces in Latin cooking.
Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.
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Tomatillos harvested at the green, slightly immature stage are used to make standard "Enchiladas Verde," (for which the sharp, tart flavor of the unripe fruit is desired). They can also be used for salsa, but many people prefer to allow the fruits to mature to a golden stage of ripeness. At this ripe stage, they are used as an ingredient in stews or simmered with meats for flavoring.
One customer from New Mexico shared a favorite dish - Chicken enchilada sauce. It is a simple dish prepared with fresh, ripe chiles, ripe tomatillos, garlic, chicken broth, parsley and cilantro. The key is to use ripe, not green, tomatillos.