SOUPSONG HAS GONE HARDCOPY!
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This perennial is native to Mexico and was used by the Aztecs. Unlike other Physalis fruits (the Cape gooseberry and the ground cherry), the tomatillo completely fills the Chinese-lantern-looking husk that is characteristic of physalis--in this case filled with "little green tomatoes" (1-2" diameter) with a tart flavor that develops once you cook them. It's a key ingredient of Mexican salsa verde.