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These lovely fruits are in the same family as tomatoes and are often called Mexican Green Tomatoes or Tomatoes Verde. Sometimes they are called Husk-tomatoes. Native to Central America, like tomatoes, they were taken back to Europe and the widest cultivation there has been in Spain. They are widely available in markets and most large chain grocery stores.
While tomatillos look like small green tomatoes covered with a papery husk, that is where the resemblance ends. The skin of the tomatillo is tougher and the meat of the fruit is coarse to mealy (of course a lot of the tomatoes on the market now are coarse and mealy but in a bad way).
Ripe tomatillos are firmer than tomatoes and if they get soft, they are too far gone. Purchase tomatillos when the husks are still light green and moist. As they age the husk will brown and dry. They will keep pretty well for about a week or so in the refrigerator. If I am going to use them pretty quickly, I won't put them in the fridge but in a basket on the counter.
The flavor is acidic and has a wonderful tartness that adds character to salsas, guacamole, moles and sauces. There are so many recipes that you can use these for and here are a few examples:
4 ounces tomatillos = 36 calories, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 1g protein, 6g carbohydrates, 1mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 11 mcg Vitamin K