Cape Gooseberries, Ground Cherries or Goldenberries—This Fruit is Delicious No Matter What You Call It!
If you're into cool fruits, this is one you'll want to try.
These little orange orbs are popping up around grocery stores right now. If you're not familiar with cape gooseberries (also called goldenberries), read on to see if they're worth trying.
What Are Cape Gooseberries?
Cape gooseberries —sometimes called "goldenberries"—are small fruits that are about the size of a grape, perfectly round and are opaque orange in color. They're part of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplants and tomatillos. Similar to tomatillos, Cape gooseberries grow in a husk—a papery wrapper that loosely covers the fruit and is easily peeled back to reveal the little orange berry. They have a unique flavor: sweet, tart, tangy and tropical. Eaten raw, you pop 'em in your mouth the same way you would any bite-size fruit. The skin is a bit tougher and thicker than grapes but not quite as tough as a grape tomato. They make excellent additions to salads, salsas and chutneys. They pair nicely with cheese as well as frozen desserts.
Cape gooseberries are native to South America and grow wild in Peru and Chile, but they're now grown all over the world—including in the United States—and come with all sorts of names: poha berries, strawberry tomatoes, Inca berries and ground cherries. They get the name "Cape gooseberries" from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa where they were popular when they were introduced there in the early 19th century.
Cape gooseberries aren't just pretty to look at and tasty to eat—they also carry some nutritional value. A ¾-cup serving of fresh Cape gooseberries has only 50 calories and supplies a healthy dose of iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Where to Buy Cape Gooseberries
Farmers' markets and some major grocery stores carry Cape gooseberries. Look for them in plastic clamshells in the produce section. (Be aware, they may be labeled goldenberries, ground cherries or by another name.) You can find the fresh fruit year-round, but they are at their peak in late summer and early fall. They're sturdy fruits—stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they can last for a few weeks. They can also be purchased dried, which make a great addition to salads and trail mix. If you're interested in the dried versions, you can find those online here.