Solanum gilo (Jilo)
Jilo is related to the Aubergine and grown the same way. It has African origins but is also popular in South America. The fruits are grown for their bitter taste and best eaten when mid green as shown, as they will change to orange-red when over-ripe. Fruits can be fried with onions as a snack called ‘Tira-gosto’ used in soups or steamed.
English common name: Jilo
Typical fruit weight: 40-60 grams
Typical fruit size: 10 x 6cm (length x width)
Typical fruits per plant: 20
Best period to harvest: as soon as the fruits attain their green colour. If the fruits change colour to their orange red botanic ripeness then they are overripe and will too bitter.
Production: greenhouse and containers.
Best pot size for sales: 1.5 L; best pot size to grow on to fruiting 2 L+. Plants need good fertilisation throughout their growth.
Culinary use: Sliced and fried, steamed then mashed. Many recipes using the fruit can be found online.