Tomates de Arbol(Tree Tomatoes)

13508918_771086876361728_4464546865536280257_nThese are “Tomates de Arbol”, or Tree Tomatoes. They are, as you guessed it, tomatoes that grow on a tree! They are similar to other tomatoes, except that the exterior is generally not eaten. Locals eat this fruit by gently rolling and squishing it between their palms, and then biting off the end where the stem is. Then, they suck the pulp out with their mouth while pushing it through the top of the fruit. These eating methods are still a bit strange to me, but I am learning that this is a fairly typical way to eat many of the regional fruits.13465963_771086843028398_764684638461852988_n
This is a very popular fruit for juicing, and this is how we consume it most of the time. It can be boiled first or blended raw. It is often paired with water or milk and sugar or honey.
The fruit has a deep red or purple skin, yellow or orange flesh and black seeds. It is actually not a tomato at all, but gets the name for resemblance in taste and appearance.
13533035_771086893028393_7894933264664909689_nIt is not mass-produced or exported, and is mostly cultivated in gardens and local orchards. It is native to the Andean regions of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. It is unique a tree in that it grows in the Subtropical regions of the Andes Mountains.
We see the fruit more often now than in previous months, as we have recently entered the cool season that promotes the growth of the fruit with chilly overnight temperatures.
We love this unique and delicious fruit, and we buy it fresh every week now from the food truck that delivers to our neighborhood. 13494945_771086863028396_1792158478547247095_n

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