Don’t they look lovely? A little bit exotic?
I know I’ve seen them before, sitting in baskets at the farmers market, pale and papery, like tiny tomatillos or ornamental lanterns. I knew they were commonly called ground cherries, and they always seemed intriguing, but somehow, until this morning I had never eaten one.
I was missing out. These little morsels come wrapped like a present. Pull away the paper, and find a delicate round yellow berry with a beguiling flavor.
Sweet and delicate, they taste, well, they taste round, almost nutty, with a flutter of pineapple-strawberry, and maybe a hint of something floral. When you bite into them, they burst with acidity like a cherry tomato.
The man at the Green Acres Farm stand said that most people find them delightful. And in this case, I agree with most people. He sold them as husk cherries, saying that ground cherries just sounded wrong.
Their scientific name is Physalis pruinosa, and they are relatives of tomatoes and tomatillos and cape gooseberries (which aren’t really gooseberries at all).
If, like me, you are behind the times on these, do seek them out.
The bag on my counter won’t last long.