The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk that is formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open as they reach maturity. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh green salsas and cooked Latin American green sauces. Harvested fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Like their close relatives cape gooseberries, tomatillos have high pectin content and tend to have a varying degree of a sappy sticky coating, mostly when used on the green side out of the husk.
Tomatillo plants are highly self-incompatible. Two or more plants are needed for proper pollination. One tomatillo plant isolated on its own will rarely set fruit.
Ripe tomatillos will keep in a refrigerator or cooler for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruit are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator or cooler. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.
Untreated and Organic varieties are identified with or .
Further information on seed type is provided on each variety page.