Exotic Fruits – Physalis

Check out this lovely, etherial-looking fruit…

Known around the world as the Physalis, or Cape Gooseberry, Golden Berry or Ground Cherry, this small orange berry is native to Peru and Chile and now found in numerous regions around the globe including, South and Central Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China and Malaysia. In England, the cape gooseberry was first reported in 1774. Since that time, it has been grown there in a small way in home gardens, and after World War II was canned commercially to a limited extent. Concurrently, jars of Cape Gooseberry jam eventually made their way from England to the South Florida market.

Physalis is a genus of plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which thrives in warm temperate and subtropical climates. The genus is characterised by the small orange fruit similar in size, shape and structure to a small tomato, but partly or fully enclosed in a thin papery husk derived from the calyx. 

This yummy berry is known to have more of a sweet-sour taste which some liken to a strawberry and lemon combo.  Because of its more “meaty” texture, this berry is perfect for pies and jams, but is best eaten raw. Nutritionally, this fruit is chock full of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium.  Another very interesting fact is that the golden-colored berry seen above is closely related to the tomatillo.

Native to Mexico, tomatillos were grown by Aztec Indians nearly 3,000 years ago. The tomatillo, which translates into “little tomato” in Spanish, is sometimes called jamberry or husk tomato. Tomatillos can be the size of a cherry tomato or as big as a small tomato. A paper-like husk covers the fruit, giving it the appearance of a small Chinese lantern. The fruit is usually picked when it is light green, although the ripe fruit is usually yellow. Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/329357-physalis-nutrition/#ixzz1q459ooeq

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