The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica), also known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a plant of the tomato family bearing spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era. A staple of Mexican cuisine, they are eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes, particularly salsa verde. Tomatillos were domesticated in Mexico before the coming of Europeans, and played an important part in the culture of the Maya and the Aztecs, more important than the tomato. The specific name philadelphica dates from the 18th century. The Tomatillo produces round, 2-3 inches in diameter fruits that change their color from green to yellow-green. Tomatillo fruits can be eaten freshly, and they are excellent for making a wonderful salsa. Tomatillo is grown like tomatoes. The fruits are surrounded by a papery husk that turns from green to brown as they ripen and splits open when they are ready to harvest.
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
The seeds take 15-20 days to sprout.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.