Cape Gooseberry

Cape Gooseberry

Synonyms:
Goldenberry, Peruvian Ground Cherry, Husk Cherry, Physalis, Poha Berry.
Plural:
Cape Gooseberries, Goldenberries, Husk Cherries, Peruvian Ground Cherries, Physalis, Poha Berries.
Family:
Solanaceae – Nightshade family
Species:
Physalis peruviana

Origin

Wild breeds of the Cape Gooseberry presumably come from the Andes regions to the south of the equator, from Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and the north of Chile. The plant was domesticated more than 200 years ago in South Africa — hence the name Cape gooseberry. Two centuries ago they were used as a remedy for scurvy, the disease that is caused by a vitamin C deficiency.

Plant

The Cape gooseberry grows much like their relative — the tomato — on small shrubs. As soon as the carrot-like fruits become ripe, the paper-thin leaf-cover vapours itself around like a lampion. As soon as the carroty fruits become ripe, the paper-thin leaf-cover vapours itself around like with a lampion. The Chinese Lantern or Bladder cherry (Physalis alkekengi), which is held as an ornamental plant in the garden in our latitudes, likewise belongs to its relatives.

Cultivation

Today, the Cape Gooseberry is cultivated around the world: in South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Colombia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Great Britain and even in the areas of viticulture Germany.

Importations

They are imported all year round from Columbia and from December until June from Kenya.

Fruit

Edible:
The whole fruit.
Inedible:
The very ribbed yellowish to light brown leaf-cover.
Odour and flavour:
Refreshing but slightly sweet and sour at the same time.
Size and shape:
It is like a gooseberry.
Bowl:
orange, brilliant and slightly viscous.
Flesh:
yellow, soft and juicy.
Ripeness:
It has a yellow shell.
Overripe fruits:
They are unpleasantly soft; there is perhaps generation of mould education in the leaf-cover.
Unripe fruits:
Green yellow and quite acidically.

Usage

May be consumed raw, used in sweet and hearty salads, cake layers or in compote and jam.

Storage

One must keep Cape Gooseberries in a very drily and breezy area, so that they do not mould.