Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - tastes like birthday cake and green tomato - Ground cherries

08-03-2011, 05:12 PM
Every year, I buy a half pint or two of ground cherries (also called husk cherries or cape gooseberries) at the farmers market.

They look like miniature tomatilloes (they have a papery husk over the little greenish to orange berry).

And every year I'm surprised by the flavor. Online I"ve read it described as a cross between pineapple and tomato, but I don't get pineapple at all. To me, there's a distinct vanilla/sugar/egg "birthday cake" flavor combined with tomato or tomatillo.

Very weird, and very fun. Not bad, but not so wonderful that I can't control myself, in fact after four years of buying them, I still can't tell you whether I like the flavor or not. It's just too weird.

And yet I must like them, because I do buy them every year, and I do finish them.

The people who grow them tell me they're best in jams and sauces, but I just like them because they taste "funny." I mean God has to have a sense of humor to create a fruit that combines the flavor of birthday cake and tomato.

08-03-2011, 06:00 PM
And they are pretty too!

08-03-2011, 06:10 PM
They are strange, aren't they. It's the papery husk and the slight oiliness on the surface of the fruit which is particularly odd for me.

08-03-2011, 06:14 PM
I've never heard of these. I'm curious now! I'll have to look for them.

08-03-2011, 07:08 PM
I find them weird to eat not only because of the flavor, but also because they look like "chinese lantern," which as a child I was told were poisonous (since I've read that the ripe berries are edible, but the unripe ones can be toxic, even fantally so).

So there's the "laughing at death" component too of eating something that tastes like tomato birthday cake, and resembles something poisonous.