Tomatillos, also commonly known as husk tomatoes. The slightly sticky husk encloses a firm, green fruit, and as the husk begins to dry it splits open and fades from green to light brown as the fruit matures. Tomatillos are harvested when the fruits are still immature, and they have a very tart flavor, much different than their relative, the tomato. However, Tomatillo plants do grow similar to tomatoes, though they seldom require staking, set fruit faster, and are somewhat more cold tolerant. They are low sprawling plants that reach an average of two to four feet in height and produce high yields of the husked fruit, which are often described as looking like Chinese lanterns as they hang on the plant.?
Tomatillos can generally be used in similar ways to regular tomatoes, although they offer a slightly more tart flavor and contain less sugar. That tart, slightly acidic taste makes them perfect for use, either raw or cooked, in salsas, sauces, or even jams. When used in salsa, Tomatillos tone down the hotness of chilies and help blend the flavors of the different ingredients. They are credited as the source of the "piquant" flavor in authentic Mexican cuisine, and the slightly immature green fruits are used as the key ingredient for traditional salsa verde, which can be served with just about anything from enchiladas and quesadillas to fried chicken and more. Diced raw Tomatillos also add a nice crunch to fresh guacamole, and they pair well with onions, cilantro, chili peppers and garlic.