I was in a small, typical Colombian cafe (you know, one of those that look scruffy but dish up amazing food, just like those in HK!) when I first came across this peculiar oval-shape fruit. Apparently tree tomatoes are different from the usual ones that we put in our salad or pasta.. I had a fight with my one and only trustworthy Colombian reference when I was told that this was a different type of tomato. He started banging on about how there are two different types of tomatoes. There is the tree tomato from trees, and that’s a fruit; and there’s also a tomato from shrubs, which is a veggie.
I was totally thrown off by that and my critical mind told me that my legs were being pulled. I decided to give it a try anyway because what can I lose. It didn’t taste much of anything except that it was quite sour. Also, although it’s called tomato, it tastes nothing like tomatoes. The only relation it has with the tomato is probably that they are both nightshade plant…
After some research, I found out that it’s called the ‘tree tomato’ because it comes from a plant that’s more like a small tree with a thick central trunk, whereas the tomato that we are familiar with comes from a small plant. The truth is, both types of ‘tomatoes’ are fruits, not vegetables.
Tree tomatoes are apparently very healthy, especially for diabetics sufferers, as it helps lower your blood sugar. So put them in your blender and make some juice now!