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Sep 1, 2010 10:21 AM

Where to get tomatillos in Somerville/Cambridge?

Usually in late August there are tons of tomatillos at farmer's markets around here, but I have had trouble finding them this year. Anyone seen them around? I'm looking for a large quantity to make salsa. On the Red Line is preferable.

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  1. I've seen them at Whole Foods in Medford and Woburn, so my guess is, they will also have them at any of the three locations in Cambridge.

    1. Not that close to the red line, but La Internacional foods in Union Square has tomatillos pretty regularly, and their prices are very low. It's at the corner of Somerville Ave and Hawkins. You can take the 91 bus from Central Square, the 86 from Harvard, or walk from either of those stops (20-25 mins). They also have excellent mangoes, papayas, homemade tortillas, basmati rice and just a great selection of international foods (mostly Latin-American).

      9 Replies
      1. re: bella_sarda

        That is a very helpful answer to hang mine off: Market Basket on Somerville Ave, very close to La Internacional, also usually has them. They're usually at the top right of the shelves in the far right corner of the fresh fruit and veg section: so if you were an AI robot, you would just head toward the veg and keep going until you hit the back wall, then track right until you hit the next wall. Then turn left and look up, and they are right in front of you. The section they are in includes peeled garlic in plastic pots, ginger (loose), jalapenos (loose), occasionally anaheims, sometimes poblanos, etc.

        They are not sold loose, just in styrofoam trays of approximately 1lb weight.

        1. re: chickendhansak

          Yeah, Market Basket has them today. I was just there. I love your description of that section. It's a good shelf of inspirational unusual produce to base a meal around when I'm feeling bored. Usually pieces of daikon, endive and radicchio can also be found there.

          1. re: Parsnipity

            Definitely. More than once I've found things in that section that I'd never seen before in my relatively sheltered life. Like some little crunchy bobbled green ball things related to cucumbers that are popular in Brazil. They were cool.

                1. re: dulce de leche

                  Those maxixe are compelling. Are they more of a cucumber or an eggplant, and are they generally cooked or eaten raw?

                  As for tomatillos: The MB ones have decent flavor, in my experience. They do not always have them, and they are pretty expensive (~$2-3/lb). Irrelevant at MB, but FWIW, I have been told, and research bears this out, that the smaller ones are more flavorful.

                  1. re: dacoit

                    You can eat maxixe raw in a salad, like a cucumber. They are also eaten stewed, but I haven't tried them that way.

                    The flavor is more lemony than cucumber. The texture is funky, though. Many more seeds in proportion to flesh than a cucumber and the outside is spiny (you can rub/cut off the points to make them rounder), so when eaten raw they have a lot going on!

                    1. re: dulce de leche

                      I prefer maxixe stewed and I have a rough recipe written up for maxixe with pork ribs which I can email or post on the home cooking board if interested. I was starting to write up some other ideas but haven't had time to test them out as written.

                      Jilo is the Brazilian fruit which looks like an eggplant (eggplant is also a fruit) and also locally grown, its bitter and many Brazilian's don' t even like it. Personally I think its ok -- the Brazilian fruit I can't understand is jenipapo, but you won't find that here unless you know someone who smuggled some in a suitcase.

                      1. re: itaunas

                        dulce de leche and itaunas, many thanks for the maxixe (and jilo) info. Will definitely snag some of these when next at MB (or, since I am living in Queens NYC now, in Astoria) and give them a try. Itaunas, will drop you a line offlist for that ecipe, which sounds great.

        2. I saw them at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square yesterday!

          Dave's Fresh Pasta
          81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

          1. I saw them at the Union Square farmer's market this past Saturday. I'm pretty sure it was Parker's farm.

            4 Replies
            1. re: LeoLioness

              I bought some last week and they were flavorless. Save your money and walk over to International or the Market Basket.

              If it matters I roasted them for a tomatillo green sauce.

              1. re: smtucker

                Thanks for the tip! I was going to get some to roast for a sauce; I'll go to MB instead.

              2. re: LeoLioness

                Steve Parker of Parker Farms has them at the farmer's markets on Monday in Central Square and Saturday in Union Square Somerville.

                A total non sequitur--he also has foraged delicious "chicken" mushrooms--for those who don't know them, they range from golden yellow to orange and have a meaty texture and mildly savory taste.

                1. re: LeoLioness

                  I saw those at Union Square, but I agree with smtucker, I tried one and they were pretty bland. Certainly glad I didn't buy 8 lbs of those for salsa.

                2. I"m blanking on the name of the farm, but I've noticed that one stand almost always has them at the farmers markets in Central square on Mon and Union on Sat. He also has lots of greens and tat soi and usually romano beans. And yes, Market Basket.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Madrid

                    I believe that would be Drumlin Farm, from Lincoln, MA. Their tat soi, and most everything else I've had from them, is awesome, and yes they have tomatillos. They are supposedly "beyond organic."