Tamarillo a.k.a. tree tomato, tomate de arbol, tomate dulce

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago . . . I was in the Peace Corps in Ecuador.  One of the best things about South America are the fresh fruit juices.  Even the informal wet markets have small vendors with blenders selling juices mixed on the spot.  My favorites of the new fruits encountered at that time were the ‘tuna’ (a cactus fruit), the capuli (an andean cherry), and the tamarillo or tree tomato.

Africa isn’t quite as in love with fresh fruit juices.  So I am especially excited here in Rwanda to find a plethora of juices every morning at breakfast.  And they have the tree tomato!

These fruit may have skin colors ranging from yellow and orange to deep red.  Believed to have originated in the Andes of Latin America, they are grown commercially in New Zealand for the international market.  In the US, they are grown occasionally in California and Florida, though not commercially, and are sometimes sold by nurseries for growing indoors in pots.


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