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Physalis

April 7, 2011

Physalis peruviana, known in English as golden berry (South Africa), physalis, Inca berry, cape gooseberry, giant ground cherry, Peruvian groundcherry, Peruvian cherry (U.S.), poha (Hawaii), ras bhari (India), aguaymanto (Peru), uvilla (Ecuador), uchuva (Colombia) and physalis. This is a group of annuals and perennials, which are grown for their fruits and for decoration. They grow wild in Europe, America and Asia and belong to the Potato family, Solanaceae. But does not taste like a potato.

Physalis is hardly seen in the U.S. except in Pennsylvania Dutch country and parts of the Midwest. The sprawling vine grows up to 2 feet high and spreads 3 to 4 feet wide. The fruits are ½- to ¾-inch in diameter and are encased in a loose, papery husk shaded with purple/green. When they are ripe, they resemble yellow Cherry Tomatoes. They are smaller and sweeter than Tomatillos and can be eaten raw or used in preserves.

The fruits of some species are edible, with an acidic kick like that of tomatoes. Some have notes of tropical fruit like pineapples, while others have a more earthy flavor. Physalis fruits can be eaten naturally, sliced and thrown into salads, used in salsas and sauces, cooked in stir fries, dried, and cooked in preserves and jellies. Some varieties are more savory in nature, while others are very sweet. They are rich in vitamin C, making them a great addition to the diet.

I like to normally eat mines naturally. I had made a nice sauce with it even as a nice topping for a yogurt cake. It was so sweet once boil it that I did not needed to add sugar. I plan to try it in a salad merely for photo purpose. lol.
physalis

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 10:25 pm

    Would give them a try, but have never seen them in Miami

    • April 8, 2011 8:33 am

      It is funny you would think they would grow these there since it is the right temperature for them to grow and almost anything can grow in Miami. Perhaps one day a person who find it interesting will start growing them. I read this plant is good in any climate. Keep your eyes open you never know where you might see them one day, other than what I listed above.

  2. April 8, 2011 12:03 am

    Holy cow, how do you find this stuff?? 🙂 Sounds awesome, I’ve never seen one out here either. Grocery stores always carry the same small selection of fruits and vegetables, I know there is a ton of other things in the world. It’s a shame most are so hard (or impossible) to find.

    • April 8, 2011 8:30 am

      Before I move here I promise myself I would be open to try something at least once that I know is not so dangerous or risky. In the restaurant they always have about 2 or 3 of these on the dessert dish. Every time someone tells me the name I forget it. So last month I saw it at one of the grocery store close by and bought to small strawberry carton sizes. Now I am just playing around with it a bit for not only eating purpose but photo purpose to make my meals a bit unique.
      Funny thing is some of the fruits I have found are sold in the state but I never dare to try. A bit mess up my thinking is. But I am happy my mind is a bit open or I would really be missing out on some nice tasty stuff!

  3. April 8, 2011 1:25 am

    I learned something new today. I can’t wait to show my mom this article because she loves to discover new food. This really looks delicious and since we’re not far from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, we may head up there a weekend and check these out. Wonderful post.

  4. July 1, 2011 12:18 am

    Physalis peruviana, is a delicious fruit, grown and appreciated in the gardens of the Inca, rich in vitamins A, B6, B12, C, we produce high Andean valleys of Peru.
    We offer fresh or dried the raisins type, so keeps all its features and will keep for over a year. You may contact us gborganic@ gmail.com

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