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fruits that look like tomatoes

Fruits that Look Like Tomatoes: Persimmons, Tamarillo, Physalis

Botanically, tomatoes are fruits but that’s not what we’re here to talk about, I actually decided to research fruits that look like tomatoes.

Moreover, it will be very interesting to see if these fruits that look like tomatoes will be used for making mainly sweet dishes or if they can be used for making savory dishes, too.

Since we mainly use tomatoes for making savory dishes, we can definitely think of them as vegetables more than we think of them as fruits. We can call a tomato both a fruit and a vegetable.

But let’s see about those other fruits that look like tomatoes. That’s the focus here.

Fruits that Look Like Tomatoes: Which Are They?

Some fruits definitely have a very close resemblance to tomatoes, while others look kind of similar but only if you’re not paying very close attention to the details.

The main fruits that look like tomatoes are:

  • Persimmons
  • Sharon fruit
  • Tamarillo
  • Physalis

1. Persimmons

In my opinion, the fruits that look like tomatoes the most are persimmons. If I put them in a bowl, you would think that I have bought or grown some very beautiful orange tomatoes.

This fruit is really beautiful and just as delicious. It took me a while until I tasted one but I loved it from the first bite. Plus, I love its name.

Since persimmons have a very bright, vibrant orange color that also has some shades of red, they can be easily confused with globe tomatoes that are well on their way to be completely ripe.

But what they mostly remind me of is the Sweet Tangerine tomato variety. Persimmons resemble this particular variety the most.

However, persimmons and tomatoes are by no means related. Persimmon is a fruit tree. The tree has nothing in common with a tomato plant. The tree is actually related to date plum, black sapote, and mabolo.

They just happen to have similar looks but are in no way related as plants. Not even close.

What you can use persimmons for

It’s wonderful for smoothies, that’s one of the main things that people use these fruits that look like tomatoes for.

Making jam is another wonderful option.

Persimmon bread is another recipe that people love to make, it’s wonderful for amateur bakers. You could also make cookies, muffins, and crumble pie as sweeter treats.

But if you want to make something savory, you could try making a persimmon risotto. Or a salad with persimmons and apples and spinach.

If you have a lot of them by some miracle, just freeze them for prolonged use.

How do you eat a persimmon?

If the fruit is too soft, just cut it in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon.

If it’s not that ripe, just cut it in slices and eat it with the peel and all. You don’t have to peel it.

Sharon fruit

Sharon fruit is a variety of persimmon. Both these fruits look incredibly similar so I’m not going to mention Sharon fruit separately as a fruit that looks like tomatoes since there is such a strong bond between Sharon fruits and persimmons.

2. Tamarillo

Tamarillo is another wonderful addition to fruits that look like tomatoes.

More so since this one looks very similar to elongated tomatoes. These are also known as plum tomatoes.

A tamarillo can be easily confused for Roma tomatoes. This is the variety that comes closest to the way this fruit looks.

From some distance, especially if you’ve never seen a tamarillo before, you could mistake it for Roma tomatoes.

I think that the difference is that tamarillos can have a very deep, intense red color. Tomatoes need a lot of time in the sun until they get the same vibrant color and even then I don’t think that they can match the vibrancy and fabulousness of tamarillos.

There are also yellow tamarillos, just as there are yellow elongated tomatoes. They match in this aspect, too.

Tamarillos grow on trees. If you’re seeing these fruits while they’re growing on their trees, there’s no way to mistake them for tomatoes. The plants look just too different to have anything in common.

But their fruits do have similar looks, especially if we make the comparison between tomatillos and Roma tomatoes, in particular.

On the other hand, the green tomatillo variety looks like unripe tomatoes.

What you can use tomatillos for

Tomatillos are fruits that look like tomatoes but they are so much more than that. They’re actually quite versatile.

Obviously, you can eat them raw. Just don’t eat the peel because it’s bitter, not good at all. You can cut the fruit in half, sprinkle a bit of sugar, and scoop up the flesh with a spoon.

You can also cut the raw fruit into slices and serve it alongside a cheese board.

The taste is actually a combination between passion fruit and tomato. That means that it will work for making both sweet and savory dishes.

You can use tamarillos to make smoothies, chutney, hot sauce, muffins, mixed into curry. Or you can cook them as toppings for salads, pizza, pasta, egg dishes, and roast chicken.

3. Physalis

We’ve covered some of the bigger varieties of tomatoes and we found some fruits that resemble the exterior pretty closely.

Now, it’s time to talk about fruits that look like tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes to be more precise.
And that’s how you’ll end up looking at physalis and seeing how they look like orange cherry tomatoes.

Indeed, physalis is a yellow to orange fruit that is absolutely similar in shape, size, and structure to an orange cherry tomato.

There are also red physalis, which resemble red cherry tomatoes but they’re not as accessible as the yellow to orange variety.

Most of us recognize physalis as being a yellow to orange variety.

What you can use physalis for

I will admit that my first contact with a physalis was when I ordered a cocktail more than 10 years ago.

The cocktail was good but that tiny fruit on the rim fascinated me just as much as the taste of the cocktail. Since I don’t like wasting food, I ate it and loved it. It has a similar taste to pineapple, a nice sweet-sour balance.

Well, moving on from understanding that you can use it for all sorts of drinks, what else can you make with physalis?

You can eat it raw, make jam or use it in smoothies. It’s not as versatile as the above fruits that look like tomatoes but it’s still absolutely delicious.

Physalis: the “husk tomatoes” genus

If we want to dive into even more interesting information, you’ll discover that Physalis is also a word used to describe a worldwide genus that is also called “husk tomatoes”.

Physalis is a genus of the Nightshade family, which also includes the tomatillo, which is also called the “Mexican Green Tomato”.

Indeed, the green tomatillo perfectly resembles unripe tomatoes. That green color is so beautiful. There are also purple tomatillos that resemble purple tomatoes, although they’re not frequently grown by amateur gardeners.

All in all, I hope this article wasn’t only an exploration of fruits that look like tomatoes but an inspiration for trying out new recipes and adding new fruits to your diet.