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Ingredient of the week: Tree tomato

Food By Wambui Kuria
The tree tomato is called tunda la damu in Kiswahili (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tunda la damu would have you think or translate as bloody fruit. During breakfast on a work trip in Tanzania some years back, a beautifully displayed breakfast buffet set up had mouth-watering halved tree tomato fruits. I snatched up a couple with a cup of coffee (before going back for the main meal) and sat to enjoy the fruit that I have now come to like. “Umeipendaje hilo Tunda la Damu?” The waitress asked as she cleared my table. My first thought is what bloody fruit are you asking about? That is how I knew the tree tomato is called tunda la damu in Kiswahili. 

ALSO READ: Ingredient of the week: Brown rice

Shaped like a roma tomato (oval) the tree tomato has a distantly sweet and tangy taste and, when cut in half, it is easy to scoop out the meat of the fruit to eat. This fruit is associated with cancer prevention, managing diabetes, improving eyesight and boosting body metabolism. 

The fruit is available in most fruit and vegetable markets. Many hawkers and roadside fruit vendors also stock them. They cost from Sh50 for six fruits to Sh200 a kilo.

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