One of my hobbies is tasting unique or out-of-the-ordinary fruits. I enjoy going to the local Asia supermarkets and seeing what is available that I haven’t tried before or even my local Sprouts has some interesting fruits to try. One of my favorites that I discovered a while ago is the Goldenberry or golden berry.
The Goldenberry is also known as Physalis Peruviana, Peruvian groundcherry, Cape gooseberry, uchuva, poha, and other regional and indigenous names.
In this article, you will learn where the Goldenberry comes from and where it grows, what the health benefits are, how to eat them, and what they taste like.
Time to learn all about the Goldenberry!
Where does the Goldenberry come from and where do they grow?
The Goldenberry is related to the tomatillo and the Chinese lantern. It is a member of the plant family called Solanaceae, more commonly called the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
It is native to South America in places like Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Supposedly the history of these wonderful berries can be traced back to the Inca.
They were brought to England in the late 18th century and have been cultivated there ever since. Also in the 20th century, they were widely introduced all over the world. And are cultivated and grow wild and many temperate and tropical regions. Places like, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, several of the Pacific Islands.
The goldenberry is not commercially grown in the United States, but it can be grown here, in fact in most places in the US.
They are pretty large plants that need lots of room to grow and are an annual crop.
What are the health benefits of the goldenberry?
The Goldenberry is loaded with nutrients. Here are a few of them:
- Moderate number of calories
- High in fiber
- High in Vitamin C and Niacin
- Moderate amounts of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Iron, and Phosphorus
- High amounts of beta-carotene
- Small amount of calcium
- High in antioxidants
- May boost immunity
Some potential side effects. If you eat them unripe, they may be poisonous and cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Similar to other members of the nightshade family.
For more health benefits visit Healthline.
How do you eat the Cape Gooseberry?
Like the tomatillo, the goldenberry or cape gooseberry is encased in a papery husk called a calyx. The goldenberry is ripe when the color of the berry is completely golden or orange in color, with no green. The husk will turn yellowish-green or yellowish-brown and be somewhat translucent. The fruit will not continue to ripen after it is picked. So normally if you are buying them in a store they will already be ripe.
If you are growing them, make sure to pick them at their peak ripeness. Or better yet, when they are ripe they should fall off the plant onto the ground. Hence the name, Peruvian groundcherry.
To eat it, remove the husk, and then you can wash the fruits, which is a good idea. The skin will feel slightly sticky or waxy, but that is natural. Then pop it in your mouth and chew it. They are great raw as a snack, or in a fruit salad, put in smoothies, dipped in chocolate. The goldenberry also makes a great compote or jam.
What does the golden berry taste like?
The golden berry has an amazing flavor. It is slightly tart or tangy with some sweetness and a bit of a tropical taste. It is like a blend between a tomato, pineapple, and mango, and maybe a little bit of cherry.
Of course, the taste is subjective, but that is kind of what they taste like to me.
These wonderful berries are becoming more and more popular here in the United States. If you get a chance, pick some up and give them a taste. I really enjoy eating them raw and turning them into a quick compote or quick jam to go on toast.
Watch the video I made about the Goldenberry:
Here are some other fruits you may be interested in learning more about: