What are Tomatillos?

One of the questions we get asked a lot is about some of the ingredients we use. Many people have asked us about tomatillos. Although many people think that tomatillos simply means “little tomatoes”, in reality, tomatillos and tomatoes are different. Tomatillos are used in a lot of authentic Mexican recipes. Here is some additional information about tomatillos. 

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Tomatoes and Tomatillos in Mexico

Tomatoes are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. In fact, an indigenous tribe from Mexico, the Nahuatl, named the red fruit tomatl, which made it into Spanish as tomate. Red tomatoes come from the Solanum lycopersicum plant. 

Like tomatoes, tomatillos are native to Mexico. The tomatillo is from the nightshade family, so it is in a completely different family. Tomatillos were cultivated before the tomato plant was, and it is a staple of Mexican cooking. Tomatoes are known for their acidic taste and some are slightly sweet. Tomatillos are less sweet, with a darker, spicier flavor. Many tomatillos have a fruity undertone. 


Tomatillos can be eaten raw, but in Mexico, they are usually roasted or cooked. When the tomatillo is cooked, the flavor is sweeter. Many Mexican cooks use tomatillos in green, or verde, sauces. You can try tomatillos in salsa dishes or raw in ceviche. People like the tomatillos in enchilada suiza sauce as well. One of the specialty dishes using tomatillo is gazpacho, which is a cold, flavorful soup. If you’re not a fan of cold soup, you can slice and fry them for a great snack. No matter how you fix them, tomatillos are an amazing addition to many traditional Mexican dishes. 

When you’re ready to try tomatillos, you need to come by and see us. We’re located at 8389 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34238. You can give us a call to place a reservation or a takeout order at 941.217.4536.

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Sunday12:00 AM — 9:00 PM

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