Native to South America, Tamarillos (or tree-tomatoes as my grandmother called them), were introduced to NZ in the late 1800′s. The small, large-leafed trees thrive in moderate NZ conditions – and need shelter and light, well-drained soil. The fruit have remained a popular seasonal treat due to their unique flavour, nutritional qualities and attractive colour.
When ripe, the fruit falls to the ground and it is a joy to go out and collect the glossy, deep ruby-red eggs from the grass beneath the trees. They can be eaten fresh, stewed or made into deserts, chutneys or sauces. The trees are fairly low-maintence, and have a long fruiting season. Find a local nursery or garden centre at findaplant.co.nz and enjoy growing tamarillos in your own garden.