A tamarillo is a smooth, egg shaped fruit with a pretty hue that ranges from red to golden and is about the size of a large plum. Also known as a tree tomato, a name coined in New Zealand to differentiate from the garden tomato, adding exotic flair when they were first cultivated and marketed. In fact, they aren’t directly related to the tomato but are a member of the Solanceae, (nightshade) family though can be used and cooked in a similar way to tomatoes. The bitter skin is inedible; remove with either a serrated peeler (easiest option) or plunge into a basin of hot water to loosen the skin before slipping it away with the tip of a sharp knife. Add to casseroles, chutney, and salsa; in a sandwich with cottage cheese, wedges on a cheeseboard or in marinades for poultry and fish. Alternatively, slice in half to scoop out the flesh and seeds with a spoon to use in sweet and savoury dishes. Sprinkle with sugar before drizzling over ice cream, a fruit salad or to decorate cakes in a similar fashion to a passion fruit; the tamarillo’s almost savoury tartness adds an interesting flavour dimension, a yum-factor umami appeal.

On ripening, there is a slight softening of the fruit and yellowing of the stalk; store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks or about a week at an ambient temperature in a fruit bowl.