Do You Know This Fruit?
The other day while helping serve Thanksgiving meals at the church daycare I will soon be working at, I tasted a fruit salad containing an unknown fruit. It was delicious, but we could not figure out who brought it, therefore, I didn’t learn until later what it was.
That same afternoon I visited my friend Stephanie and her caregiver Stephanie did a quick web search and we discovered what the mystery fruit was, it’s called Physalis-also known as the Ground Cherry, or Cape Gooseberry. (Not to be confused with true gooseberries)
The fruit, for those of you who have never seen or tasted it, is the same size as cherry tomatoes yet orange. It is covered by a papery greenish brown husk that is NOT EDIBLE, in fact, it’s poisonous.
A note to those on Keto like me, the fruit is considered a berry but is higher in carbs than most. One cup has 11.2g carbs per 3.5oz. so enjoy in small settings because it would be a shame not to reap it’s many benefits:
- Good source of Vitamin C
- Moderate levels of thiamin and niacin
- Contains linoleic and oleic fatty acids
- Good source of Calcium, iron, and phosphorus
- Rich in Vitamin A
The fruit can be used in a variety of ways, in salads, raw, canned, made into preserves, sauce, jam, or chutneys. In Columbia, it is stewed with honey and eaten like a dessert.
In the salad that I tasted, it was mixed with cranberries and pecans, later I added some coconut (unsweetened) and it enhanced it’s flavor (to me anyway).
It has been known as an alternative method for treating many disorders in traditional medicine by several different cultures and countries.
In South Africa for instance, it was found to inhibit both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, is a good source of carotene, and it’s also used as a diuretic and anthelmintic. (destroys parasitic worms)
There are at least 46 different species and the only one I looked up is the Peruviana! Not all the species bear fruit and some species can taste more savory than sweet.
They can also be dried and used the same way as raisins.
Well, I hope you learned a little and also decided to try this delicious little fruit sometime! I am eager to find it, buy some, and make some new recipes with it myself!