Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tamarillos - ‘tomate de arbol’ - Lost food of the Incas

 Do you know what these are?......
Have you tasted them?



Since I have started playing around with food photography, I have been trying fruits I have never tasted before in the search of something different to photograph.

Their origins read like an ancient history book.

and all these fruits are from other countries, so in a way tasting these fruits takes you to their origins. I love going to local markets when travelling, seeing the fresh produce and tasting new flavours. 

Here you can see the market in Bercy, Paris.  Wow, look at those cherries and raspberries!


I have tried -

Persimmons                   and       Cumquats  from China

















  





Pomegranates from Iran to the Himalayas


and Quinces  from Turkey

                        
My latest sweet tangy tart taste sensation is Tamarillos - lost food of the Incas.



Tamarillos are a relative of the potato, tomato, eggplant and capsicum pepper. Also known as the tree tomato it is native to Central and South America.  Listed among the lost foods of the Incas and known as the ‘tomate de arbol’, tree tomatoes have all but disappeared from their native habitat.
Tamarillos were first introduced into New Zealand from Asia in the late 1800’s.  Originally only yellow and purple-fruited strains were produced.  The red tamarillo was developed in the 1920’s by an Auckland nurseryman from seed from South America.




Tamarillos rate very highly as a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when compared with other common fruits and vegetables.

Tamarillos can be eaten raw (don't eat the skin), cooked, in savoury and sweet dishes, and in chutneys, jams and sauces.      

I found a very simple recipe - just halve, dolop on a bit of butter, spoon on some brown sugar, grill under the griller for a minute or so, and then serve with yoghurt. I added some Pomegranate seeds too.   Oh my goodness! Delicious! Delicious! 

I am going to have to try my friend's recommendation  -  "I peel and slice them, sprinkle them with a good bit of icing sugar and leave them to sit a few hours or overnight. You get this wonderful sweet and tangy flavours. Looks fantastic and tastes great with Pavlova."


  Have you tried Tamarillos?  Is there another interesting fruit or vegetable you have just discovered?
 If you haven't tried Tamarillos before you should! ps - don't eat the skin. 
I am going to put some away in the freezer to add into my tomato chutney next summer. 

I have just added three tamarillos to the tomato sauce in this Pumpkin & Recotta Cannelloni - they certainly added an extra tang. You peel them by first plunging them in boiling water for a few minutes - like you would do with tomatoes. They can then be peeled easily.
I wish I knew how to make cannelloni look less messy on the plate!


Want to find out more about Tamarillos? You will find lots of background info, recipes etc by  clicking onto the New Zealand Tamarillo Growers Association site here - Tamarillo

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you.
I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday and Travel Photo Thursday  Please click on the link to see contributions from around the world.   
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday 

You might also like - 



Persimmons and pasta 
The fruits of summer
Cumquats - from tree to marmalade

35 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever had one but everything you've shown looks good. I love fresh fruit and veggies. I have been learning to love mangoes since moving to Florida. They have such a different texture. Hugs!

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    1. hmm, mangoes are great in a summer prawn stirfry!

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  2. Interesting to learn about a new fruit. When you grow up with only apples, oranges and bananas it is a treat to try something new and add it to the diet. Now that so much more is available, it's nice to have a good selection at home. I'd like to try tamarillos, you've made them appealing.

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    1. yes I love seeking out new fruits to try - applies, oranges and bananas get so boring!

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  3. Hi Jill,

    So nice to meet you! I am intrigued with your pretty fruit portraits which have inspired me to enrich my palette! We have our own pomegranate tree which gifts us with little edible jewels every winter. The island is full of kumquats and quinces, they can be seen on any typical street - in the city, even! But, tamarillos, I have yet to see! Thanks for the beautiful images and interesting facts!

    Poppy

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    1. wow, quinces are such an old fruit here you only see them in very old orchards, so I treasure them when I can buy them

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  4. Jill, I have never even heard of tamarillos. Your photos make them look very appealing. I do love fresh fruits and veggies. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

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  5. Your food photography is just so beguiling and the Tamarillo recipe is something that I'm definitely going to try. I haven't tried them, although I've looked at them and wondered what they are like and what to do with them. for instance, I wouldn't have known not to eat the skin unless I'd read it here! Thanks Jill, another great introduction :)

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    1. they are certainly an acquired taste Jo. Try them with the sugar and yoghurt first! But a couple chucked in the tomato sauce recipe worked well.

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  6. Yummy post and wonderful photography ~ Happy Week to you ^_^

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  7. Beautiful photos. The light in the pomegranate mosaic is stunning. I've eaten tomate de arbol - we lived in Ecuador, South America for many years and it's a staple there. It's used to make the hot pepper sauce that accompanies most meals. I've looked for them here, without success. Perhaps I should check a nursery and see if I can get a plant to grow my own.

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    1. how fascinating to hear that you lived in Ecuador. I have friends here who is from there. I must ask them about Tamarillos.

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  8. Some amazing food photography and fantastic information on tomarillos.

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  9. You've made me nostalgic! I grew up in NZ eating them in salads instead of ordinary tomatoes. Wish I could grow them here in SE Qld.

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  10. Interesting to read - and so besutiful photos of all the fruits!

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  11. Great shots and the joy of new tastes!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  12. Great food photography and interesting info!

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  13. Beautiful photos as always. Look forward to your posts each week. The portraits are wonderful and the information is great! See you next week if not before, my best, Jackie

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    1. thanks Jackie. I enjoy reading your posts too.

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  14. Great shots - I tasted Tamarillos for the first time a couple of months ago. :)

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  15. I like persimmons and pomegranates. But I never have occasion to try Tamarillos...

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  16. Hello,

    First visit to your blog and enjoying your post on Tamarillos, I've never tried and will have to look for them in our farmers markets - its really great supporting a local farmers market :)

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  17. We make cumquat jam in Townsville from local trees - I would not like to eat them straight! Those pomegranates look very yummy - much darker inside than others I have seen. I like that photography has broadened your fruit appreciation :)

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    1. I agree Jan, I wouldn't eat cumquats off the tree either! They make nice marmalade, and my sister made a delicious chutney, which I would like to try next time I get some.

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  18. Love all your vibrant images of the fruits. We always look forward to persimmons when they're in season. My daughter used to call them candied fruit saying it was sprinkled with cinnamon. I've never had Tamarillos though. Sounds delicious and your dish looks yummy too.

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    1. I love persimmons too - and wish they weren't so expensive - $3 for 2!!! Tamarillos are certianly an acquired taste.

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  19. I see them in the market but I've never actually purchase them.I like the sound of what you do and adding a little sugar never hurts either.

    Persimmons are never cheap in Canada though occasionally you can buy a super ripe bag on sale.

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  20. My Grandpa grew these and gave them to us as kids. We would just scoop them out with a spoon and enjoy the tart flavour.
    Beautiful pictures Jill. If I ever made a cook book I would ask you to photograph it!

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  21. I don't think I've ever tried Tamarillos before. I'll have to keep an eye out for them. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious.

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  22. I have never eaten the tamarillos, but I definitely would. I eat a lot of different fruit when I'm in SEA. I think my favorite is rambutan.

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  23. Hi Jill, I have been to Peru and other Inca countries several times but I have not heard of tomarillos. It's really interesting. I'm not surprise that it's part potato bec I know that the Incas had domesticated about a thousand type of potatoes. It's really amazing to learn the origin of food. You make gorgeous food photography, Jill.

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  24. Such color! I can almost taste them.

    I host a weekly link party called "Oh, the PLACES I've been!" The link goes up at 7pm EST on Thursday. I hope to see you then!

    - The Tablescaper

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  25. You are a whiz with that camera. Such beautiful photos. The color is so vibrant. I have never heard of tomarillos, but the inside reminds me a little of the pomegranates you have pictured above. My German grandmother would take tomatoes and slice them thinly, sprinkle with sugar, and let sit for awhile before eating. It was such a treat. I see that the tomarillo is a relative of the tomato, so maybe the recipe you shared is probably similar to what my grandmother made us.
    Blessings from Still Woods

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