Last Sunday we made a new discovery at our local farmers’ market. After we purchased some parsley from the friendly, burly man at the W. Rogowski Farm stand, he called out a simple question as we turned to walk away. Talk about some good marketing skills:
“Hey, have you ever tried these before?” he asked. He held out a small yellow tomato. It was sitting serenely between several beige, parchment-like petals, which were gently folded back to reveal their sunny center.
As Jim and I popped two of the little orbs into our mouths, we weren’t expecting much. I mean, they were just tomatoes after all, right?
The flavors of these diminutive suckers exploded as soon as we bit into them, and they were like none we had ever tasted before. Jim thought they tasted like citrus; I disagreed by saying they reminded me of melons. But I’m not sure that’s accurate either. Whatever their exact flavor, they popped with intensity and freshness.
Of course we bought a pint, and we’ve been shelling and eating these flavor bombs all week in our salads. Every time we bite into them, I wind up asking, “Jim, what do you think these taste like?” Exciting dinner conversation, I know.
Apart from trying to define their flavor, we also just wondered what they were. Tomatillos have a similar appearance, but they are larger than husk tomatoes and impart a very different, tart taste. After a little research we learned that husk tomatoes are also known as ground cherries, strawberry tomatoes, and even cape gooseberries. Supposedly they grow very well in home gardens. Good to know, as always.
Maybe our friend at the farm stand described the husk tomatoes in the best way. As we walked away on Sunday (for real this time) I heard him asking the vendors at the next stand, “Have you ever tried these before? They’re really unique.”