Gooseberries, also known as Ground Cherries, are enclosed in papery husks, much like tomatillos, to protect the fruits from insects and cushion them when harvested. The fruit themselves look like a small yellow cherry tomato with a beautiful, waxy skin; they contain many small seeds. They are deliciously sweet and juicy and have a mild strawberry like flavor with tropical fruit and herbaceous overtones. Gooseberries continue to color and ripen once harvested. They should not be used until they have turned yellow or orange.
Use in salads paired with spicy, bitter greens like arugula and radicchio. Because of the high pectin content, Gooseberries make great jams and preserves. Gooseberry syrup is fantastic in beverages and craft cocktails.
Gooseberries originated in South America and have a long history of cultivation in Chile and Peru. The plants naturalize easily and have escaped into the wild almost everywhere they have been cultivated, most successfully in tropical and subtropical areas such as Hawaii and Australia.