One of the many fruits found in Peru while not outside of South America is the Sacha Tomate. Its name comes from our indigenous language Quechua where “sacha” means “tree” or, by extension, “wild”. In Spanish this fruit can be called tree tomato and in English it is often called tamarillo. There are of course other names, such as “tomate con cola” or “tomato with a tail” since the oval fruit always comes with its stem, unlike its distant relative the tomato.
Called in Latin solanum betaceum, the fruit is characterized by its shape and color. It looks like a large an elongated, colored egg. It comes in different colors according to its ripeness, green, yellow, red, orange, and other darkish colors. It has a slightly acidic taste. Certainly when compared with the regular tomato, it is more strongly flavored.
Many people plant the sacha tomato as a garden tree here in the city of Cuzco, just like the do with the garden rocoto. In this way, whenever they need them they can just go into their yard and puck them. Of course you can also buy sacha tomates in any of our public markets. You just have to ask for the tomato with a tail (tomate con cola) or sacha tomate.
People use the sacha tomate widely to make salads, hot sauces, and of course some desserts such as stewed sacha tomate or a sacha tomate marmalade.
10 sacha tomates.
1 liter water.
2 sticks of cinnamon and cloves.
1/4 kilo sugar.
Boil 1 liter of water with the stick cinnamon and cloves.
In another pan bring water to a boil for five minutes. You will place the sacha tomates in it and pull them out when their skin has loosened in order to peel them.
Peel the sacha tomates but do not remove their “tails”, their stems. (If you wish to make marmalade remove the tails and dice the sacha tomates.
Add the peeled sacha tomates to the cinnamon and clove flavored water. Let boil. Add the sugar and let simmer until the mixture comes to the point of marmalade or jam.
Cool in a container.
Your sacha tomate is now ready to eat on bread for breakfast or a snack. You can also use it for desserts. You give each person a whole sacha tomate that is carmelized. If you made marmalade, you can spread it on bread or crackers.