Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Temulence of Tomatillos

Temulence - an intoxication

...


Anyone guess what this is?  Answer tomorrow.

The answer as guessed correctly by Happy Mouffetard is a tomatillo husk.  I noticed it's glinting spun gold, floating around the garden like a fairy's ball gown.


The extraordinary intricacy of the husk detailed in it's cast shadow.


The tomatillos have been this years Socks' success story.  The Bedsock was keen to grow them to flavour his Mexican cooking.  I had my doubts wanting a less 'experimental' crop for the first year of greenhouse growing - but now I am converted.  What's not to love? They grow profusely, hanging decoratively from the stems the charming little green lanterns hold the promise of a plump fruit.  The husk eventually goes papery and the fruit falls.  Peeling back the husk reveals an attractive, shiny, hard, slightly sticky green fruit which will keep for weeks.

This weekend we tasted them for the first time ever.  The Bedsock oven-roast them


made them into a salsa


then added the salsa to a spicy chicken stew.


They also added extra excitement to a guacamole.

We haven't tried the tomatillos raw yet but the taste of a cooked one is quite unique.  Fruity but with a warm earthiness and slight aftertaste of melon, was my first reaction.  Excellent for mixing into a subtley spiced sauce.

We have never seen tomatillos on sale even in specialist shops - surprising as they are easy enough to grow.  Perhaps it is because they can't be eaten as a fruit and lack versatility.  Definitely a crop to be grown again next year although one or two plants should be enough for our use.

15 comments:

patientgardener said...

Skeleton of a leaf but no idea what leaf

Helen said...

Lovely silvery shot. Clearly the skeletonized leaf of the rare Filligreeus cashmereoides

Michelle W said...

Lace underpants.....ok a leaf no idea what,prefer my underpants answer anyway.

HappyMouffetard said...

Is it a dead leaf picked up off the street by one of Sarah Raven's minions, then spray painted and put in her catalogue as a "Lovely thing for the house" with a price tag of £12.99p?

(p.s. whatever it is, it's very beautiful).

(p.p.s. If you now decide to spray it and sell it for lots of money, you owe me 50% as intellectual property).

VP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VP said...

It's an x-ray of you, so we can see what lies beneath all that cashmere

Arabella Sock said...

Happy M, funnily enough I was thinking that the full object would look beautiful in Sarah Raven's catalogue. It doesn't even need spraying because it actually looks like gold filigree although unfortunately not one that ever had a cashmere surround.

Clue, it is vegetation but it isn't actually a leaf as such.

HappyMouffetard said...

Am I allowed a seious guess? Is it *whispers* a tomatillo husk?

Roland Paterson said...

Is it a pair of old Ma Sock's tights?

Ryan said...

There is no way that this will be simply a leaf! Not if Arabella is behind it anyway!

I'd guess at a wing of a Beardibum or some other photoshopped creature?

Ms B said...

That last picture is lovely. I'll have a framed 1 as that birthday pressie you meant to give me!

Martyn Cox said...

My daughter has eaten a few of my tomatillos raw, so I thought I'd try them myself. I think I'd describe them as an acquired taste - much better whizzed up into salsa. Actually, even better are the purple skinned ones - I grew those last year. You can buy tomatillos online, from a Mexican food importer - I would leave the URL here but I'm too lazy to go and google it.

The Constant Gardener said...

I grew tomatilloes this year but have been a bit disappointed by the crop - just two or three measly fruits. Not enough to make a salsa, that's for sure, so like Martyn I've been eating them raw and trying to decide if I like them. They're quite lemony (which is melony the other way around).

I like the plants though and they're easy so will try again next year I think

NewShoot said...

The shadow photo is beautiful - I'd buy that as a poster!

HappyMouffetard said...

Temulence is a wonderful word. I shall try to use it forthwith.