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Thread: Tomatillos - How to know when their ripe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Question Tomatillos - How to know when their ripe

    I purchase 2lbs to make green sauce and apparently they weren't quite ripe and ended up throwing out the entire batch

  2. #2
    Maybe the info & photos on this site will help.
    http://gourmetsleuth.com/tomatillos.htm
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  3. #3
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    AzAnne, I've grown and used tomatillos for a number of years and use them when they are green rather than the "ripe" yellow-green because they have better and more flavour when still quite green. The "ripe" tomatillos have a more mellow flavour and aren't as good in most cooking, at least in my opinion. They are still OK for use fresh in salads but lack the tang of the still-green ones which can be a tasty salad addition. Too bad you threw out the entire batch, imo; I wonder what was wrong with it?
    I have to wait 6 months for fresh ones as we're a bit snow-covered here, so I have to make do with my frozen ones.
    Cheers! Andy

  4. #4
    We also grow our own, and we pick them when they fill their husks (and start to crack open). Some will be greener than others, and we actually prefer the smallest ones, which lean towards being greener.


    Andy - Do you freeze your tomatillos whole? chopped?
    (We usually make up a HUGE batch of Bayless' basic tomatillo sauce - tomatillos, serranos, onions, garlic - and freeze THAT in batches.)
    It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child
    BURP! Where Food Happens

  5. #5
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    How did you know they weren't ripe? They are not supposed to have the look or feel of a red tomato when you cut into them. They are typically much more firm & not as juicy.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all your replys!


    I guess I should have been more specific. When I said ripe, I didn't mean yellow/red ( i didn't know that tomatillos would turn any other color aside from green ). I assumed they weren't ready (ripe) due to the very bitter taste, they were green and firm to hard.

    I think next time I'll go to the hispanic grocery store.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    AzAnne, I use them green, firm and hard, and anywhere from half-filled (yes, I'll pick the little guys the day killer frost is predicted) to filled husk. I wonder if you may not have washed them? They have a bitter, sticky, soapy coating on the skin that definately needs to be washed off.

    lorilei, I remove the husk, wash them well and freeze on a cookie sheet and bag when frozen. Great for sauces and cooked salsas, chili, etc., but not good for fresh uses like fresh salsa and salads, as you likely suspect.
    Cheers! Andy

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