Tomatillo Vs Tomato: The Ultimate Showdown!

Tomatillos and tomatoes may have several similarities, but they are actually quite different.

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So how to know if one is better for your recipes than the other?

Keep reading to learn about the differences and similarities between tomatillos and regular tomatoes.

What is special about tomatillos?


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Tomatillos, also known as Mexican husk tomatoes, are a fruit that belongs to the nightshade family.

They are often mistaken for green tomatoes but these fruits are actually smaller and have a papery husk on them.

Tomatillos are native to Mexican cuisine and have been cultivated for many years.

They have a tart and citrusy flavor that can be used in a variety of dishes, especially salsa or sauces.

Tomatillos are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals that support your heart health and are perfect for weight loss.

You can buy tomatillos fresh or canned, and they are sure to be a great addition to your meal.

What is special about tomatoes?

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Tomatoes are berries, and they grow on a vine.

They are one of the most popular fruits in the world for good reasons.

Tomatoes can come in many variants, so you can find them in red, yellow, or purple color; beefsteak, grape, or cherry shapes; sweet or tart; and fleshy or watery.

Tomatoes are also reputed for being an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and beta-carotene.

This type of fruit is very versatile in cooking.

This means you can eat them raw as a snack or in a salad, otherwise, cook tomatoes in dishes like stews, stir-fries, sauces, or roasts.

Another thing that makes tomatoes a favorite ingredient in many kitchens is that with all these benefits, they are very affordable.

What are the differences between tomatillos and tomatoes?

Tomatillos and tomatoes are thought to be the same thing.

However, there are many features that can help you distinguish between these two fruits.

Look at the table below and learn the differences between tomatillos and tomatoes:

OriginMexicoPeru and Ecuador
AppearanceSmall Green color with a papery huskCan be larger or smaller (depending on the variety) Normally ripen from green to red
TasteMore acidicSweeter
Nutritional valueMore calories  Lower in calories but richer in vitamins and minerals like calcium, lycopene
Common useMake salsaEat raw, make salads Cooked in stewing, stir-frying, or roasting recipes
VariantsFewer variantsMore variants with different features
PopularityLess popularMore popular, can be found in almost everywhere in the world

What are the similarities between tomatillos and tomatoes?

Despite many differences between tomatillos and tomatoes, these two fruits also share many similarities as listed below:

Tomatillos and tomatoes both belong to the nightshade family

The first similarity between tomatillos and tomatoes is that they both belong to the nightshade family.

Due to this feature, these two plants and fruits have a similar look.

Tomatillos and green tomatoes look almost the same

If this is the first time you have seen a tomatillo, chances are you will mistake it with a green tomato.

If the papery husk is discarded, these two fruits look almost the same and can make you have the wrong pick.

Tomatillos and tomatoes can be consumed raw or cooked

Another thing in common between tomatillos and tomatoes is that they can be consumed either raw or cooked.

Although in fact, tomatillos are used to raw in salsas or sauces, and tomatoes are more versatile in cooking, it is fine to have these ingredients cooked or uncooked in the kitchen.

Tomatillos and tomatoes are both healthy ingredients

Last but not least, tomatillos and tomatoes are very nutritious.

In comparison, tomatoes are superior to tomatillos in most aspects.

However, they are generally healthy ingredients that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to benefit your health in many ways.

It is worth it to add tomatillos and tomatoes to your diet to have a healthier lifestyle.

The bottom line

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In general, tomatillos are tart and acidic, while tomatoes are sweeter and juicier, especially when they are ripe.

So it all depends on what flavor profile you want your dish to be to opt for the right option between tomatillos and tomatoes.

Good luck!