Categorized | Food

Taste tamarillos at ultra-exotic fruit event (Nov. 16)


Have you ever bit into a bilimbi or tasted tamarillos? Known as ultra-exotic fruits, these not-so-well-known edibles are among a growing number of odd fruits that are intriguing island chefs and shoppers.

Taste test tamarillos 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 at Island Naturals-Hilo. Chef Rob Love of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel will demonstrate how to use tamarillos and offer samples.

The store will stock the fruit in their produce section and attendees will receive recipes and tamarillo info to take home.

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is presenting the fruity fun to build markets for several tropical fruit rarities. HTFG members are growing a wide variety of ultra-exotic tropical fruits and they say the fruits are under-utilized by the mainstream market.

Ultra-exotics under cultivation in Hawaii include Surinam cherry, calamonsie, jackfruit, pummelo, chico, lychee, white sapote, mangosteen and others.

Also known as tree tomatoes, the egg-shaped tamarillo is native to South America. Its flesh is “tangy and variably sweet with a bold and complex flavor,” according to HTFG President Ken Love, who will join his son, Chef Rob, for the demonstration.

Titled “New Markets for Ultra-Exotic Fruits,” the free event series is funded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture through a USDA competitive grant program to foster small farm sustainability. A total of eight events are planned around the state.

For more information, contact Love at or 808 (969-7926).

— Find out more:

Play on Pasta in Tree Tomato Sauce
By Chef Rob Love
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Serves 5

2 Large locally grown Purple Sweet potatoes
6 tree tomatoes / tamarillos
½ cup brown sugar
1tsp red salt
1Tbl chopped basil
1Tbl parsley

Shred sweet potatoes paper thin on mandolin or slicer
Salt and set aside until pliable.
Cut tree tomatoes in half and chop. In a large bowl mix in brown sugar, basil and parsley followed by the sweet potato slices folded in half.
Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

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