A tamarillo is a South American fruit. It is shaped like an egg, with flawlessly smooth skin. Depending on the variety, it may be a striking purple-red or golden hue. The skin is very bitter. The pinkish-gold flesh is peppered with seeds. It is somewhat tart even when fully ripened, but a little sugar makes it palatable.
Although tamarillos are still a novelty in the United States, they are popular in Latin American countries, Australia and New Zealand. They are available in Latin markets and some large supermarkets. When ripe, they should be fragrant and firm but not hard. They will continue to ripen at room temperature and can be stored in the refrigerator for at least one week. Tamarillos are peeled and eaten fresh or cooked in both sweet and savory dishes.