Gooseberries are a funny-sounding fruit, and the name does not make them sound exactly appetizing, but what do they taste like? They kind of look like a grape, but they are considered a berry. Do they taste like grapes? Are they sweet like a strawberry or more sour like a lemon?
What does gooseberry taste like?
Gooseberries actually do taste very similar to a grape. Remember not to bite into one expecting the same sweetness, because gooseberries give a whole new meaning to the term sour grapes.
In fact, many people compare the sharp and zesty taste of the gooseberry to the lemon, but there is a tint of sweetness to it that makes it so very delicious.
You’ll notice gooseberries are ripe and mature when they are pinkish-red. There are gooseberries that are green when when ripe. Even if you find out your gooseberries are not ripe, you can still use them.
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What is a gooseberry?
Knowing what the taste does not help you if you do not even really know what gooseberries are. If you don’t, do not worry because you are not alone. Gooseberries are not the most popular fruit and can even be hard to find in regular grocery stores. We are here to help you know what exactly you are looking for when you are scouring the shelves for gooseberries.
Gooseberries are a very round and small fruit (about 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch in diameter), and they are packed full of tons of different vitamins and nutrients. Before they are ripe, they are a green color (very similar to a green grape). Then as they ripen, they get more and more reddish-purple, though often fully ripe gooseberry still has some hints of a translucent green in spots. Gooseberries also look similar and are closely related to currants.
What is the texture of ripe gooseberries?
The outside of a gooseberry should feel firm like a grape. The skin is super thin, so it will be easy to eat. When you bite into a gooseberry, you will find that the texture is very similar to a cherry tomato. It is pulpy, juicy, and soft.
As long as it is not too ripe, it should not be mushy. Gooseberries also contain hard seeds, but they are edible. It is possible to safely chew them without damaging your teeth.
How do you eat gooseberries?
So how exactly do you eat gooseberries? Well, to start, many people eat them raw. While they are definitely a more tart fruit, it is much more subtle, and there are hints of sweetness and other flavors that balance the tartness well.
So, go ahead and pop one right in your mouth, or you can add fresh gooseberries right on to your salad as a finishing touch.
There are some other ways that people enjoy gooseberries. Some people bake gooseberries into goods like pies, crisps, crumbles, and tarts. Other people absolutely love gooseberry jellies and jams. Some people even blend them up and turn them into cocktails or salad dressings. As you can see, there is so much you can do with gooseberries.
How do you buy gooseberries?
Gooseberries are only going to taste good if you buy ones that are ripe but not overripe. So how do you know which ones are the best?
First of all, it is important to acknowledge that it can be challenging to find them in stores. They are in season from May until mid to late July, so that is when you will probably have the most luck. But because they are not a super popular fruit, not all grocery stores keep them in stock, and only specialty farmers grow them.
For that reason, when you do find them, you might want to get a bunch and then store them in a way that allows you to keep them for an extended period of time (see next section).
When you find gooseberries in the store, the ripe ones will be mostly a reddish-purple color, though if there is still some green left, that is fine. Additionally, ripe gooseberries will feel firm to the touch, similar to a ripe grape or a ripe cherry tomato. You do not want to get any that feel mushy, as those are overripe and will not taste as good.
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How do you keep gooseberries fresh?
After buying good, fresh gooseberries, you need to store them in a way that will keep them fresh, especially if you are storing them for an extended period of time. You have a few different options:
On the counter. If you will be snacking on the gooseberries right away and eating them within a day or two, go ahead and keep them out of the counter. Keep in mind that gooseberries on the counter will go bad the fastest.
In the fridge. If you wash the gooseberries, they will probably only last two to three days even in the refrigerator. Unwashed gooseberries should stay fresh for around a week.
In the freezer. If you want to keep your gooseberries for up to six months, freezing them is a good option. You can either lay them out on a tray and freeze them before packing them or pack them in simple syrup or sugar.
Canning. It is possible to can your gooseberries just like you can can any other fruit, and doing so will allow you to keep them for up to a year, as long as the containers remain sealed tight.
Finally, you can dry gooseberries by steaming them, cutting them up, and laying them out. After they are dry, you can enjoy them from the pantry for up to six months or freeze them and have them last for pretty much as long as you want. All you have to do to revive a dried gooseberry is add some water.