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Tamarillo

Tamarillo

Scientific Name: Cyphomandra betacea

Other Names: Dutch eggplant, Tree tomato, Terong Belanda, Tomate de árbol

The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Today, it is still cultivated in gardens and small orchards for local production, and it is one of the most popular fruits in these regions. Other regions of cultivation are the subtropical areas throughout the world, such as South Africa, India, Hong Kong, China, United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The first internationally marketed crop of tamarillos in Australia was produced around 1996, although permaculture and exotic fruit enthusiasts had increasingly grown the fruit around the country from the mid-1970s on.
In New Zealand, about 2,000 tons are produced on 200 hectares of land and exported to the United States, Japan and Europe. For the export, the existing marketing channels developed for the kiwifruit are used. The fruits are egg shaped and about 4-10 centimeters long. Their color varies from yellow and orange to red and almost purple. Sometimes they have dark, longitudinal stripes. Red fruits are more acetous, yellow and orange fruits are sweeter. The flesh has a firm texture and contains more and larger seeds than a common tomato. The fruits are very high in vitamins and iron and low in calories (only about 40 calories per fruit).