The name Cape Gooseberries actually comes from Cape Town in South Africa, the berries are actually called Gooseberries was brought to South Africa by the Cape settlers in the 1800’s.
Cape Gooseberries is one of South Africa’s favourite berries, well at least here in the Western Cape where they are mostly found. Some people call the Gooseberry a fruit but I’ll just stick to berries for now.
Cape Gooseberries have antioxidant properties as well as anti inflammatory properties and has also been used for cancer, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism.
Physalis peruviana, commonly known as physalis, is indigenous to South America, but was cultivated in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope during the 1800s, imparting its common name, cape gooseberry.
As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant and potato, and other members of the nightshades. It is closely related to the tomatillo but not to the cherry, Ribes gooseberry, Indian gooseberry or Chinese gooseberry, as its various names might suggest.
The fruit is a small round berry about the size of a marble with numerous small yellow seeds. It is bright yellow and sweet when ripe, making it ideal for snacks, pies or jams. It is popular in fruit salads, sometimes combined with avocado.
Its most notable feature is the single papery pod that covers each berry. Because of the fruit’s decorative appearance, it is sometimes used in restaurants as an exotic garnish for desserts. If the fruit is left inside the husks, its shelf life at room temperature is over 30–45 days.