"Super-Fruit" Gooseberries

AUGUST 3, 2020

Hey My Friend, Summer Means It's Gooseberry Season!

Have you ever tried Gooseberries? If not, right now is the perfect time to do so. The season typically starts in June and goes until August. And if you happen to be located in Germany like I am, you are also in Gooseberry land. According to the FAOSTAT, the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, Germany is the world's largest gooseberry producer. In 2018, Germany produced over 86k tons of gooseberries which is almost have of the world's entire gooseberry production. 

PS: Before my gooseberry research I had literally no idea that Germany is one of the prime gooseberry producers. Second largest is Russia, followed by Poland, the Ukraine and the UK. 

Health Benefits Of Gooseberries

Gooseberries aren't only beautiful to look at and heavenly tasty, they are also a great addition to our diet. Their specialty is their overall low calorie count of 44kcal and their high soluble fibre (pectin) content of 4.3g per 100g. Besides, gooseberries contain a pretty fair amount of iron, selenium, potassium and loads of vitamins, especially Vit. C with 27.3g per 100g. 

What are the benefits of a high-fibre fruits? Fibre can help to balance blood sugar levels in our body and positively influence our cholesterol. Besides, soluble fibre such as pectin, stimulates our digestion and can promote a healthy intestinal flora. However, if you have problems with acid fruits and vegetables, be careful when consuming gooseberries or cook them for a few minutes before you enjoy them. This will facilitate its digestion. 

Origin, Cultivation & Season of Gooseberries

As mentioned in the intro, Gooseberries are basically "THE German" fruit. Nowhere else in the world you can find as many gooseberries as in Germany. Experts distinguish between three main gooseberry types: green-white gooseberries, red gooseberries and yellow gooseberries. All of the are harvested in summer, typically between June and August.

How Gooseberries Taste

Well.. .the taste absolutely depends on how ripe the gooseberry actually is. While unripe gooseberries can taste pretty sour, some ripe types of gooseberries actually taste super sweet. I personally love the very mild "sourness" of gooseberries which perfectly balances creamy and/or sweet foods such as soaked oats or nut creams. 

Where Can I Purchase Gooseberries And What Should I Pay Attention To?

Gooseberries are a seasonal fruit and typically not available out of season (at least not that I know. And I also don't recommend to purchase them out of season). Between June and August your local supermarket should offer gooseberries and if this isn't the case, the local farmer's market definitely does here in Germany. 

When it comes to gooseberries, size matters. Usually, the bigger they are in size, the sweeter the gooseberry tastes. Therefore to enjoy them at their prime, always look for beautifully round and big berries while shopping. 

Prep, Cook & Store Gooseberries At Home

When I purchase Gooseberries, they are usually at their "prime". Therefore, I just place them into the fridge and take them out for consumption. Depending on their stage, they last 3-7 days in a cool fridge (or even longer if they were purchased unripe). 

All I do to serve them is rinse them over cold water and cut them into halfs (if needed). Gooseberries don't need to be peeled, nor do you have to remove any seed. The only thing you can gut of if you want is their little "tale" on the bottom. But this isn't a must. 

My Favorite Gooseberry Recipes

Gooseberries are super versatile and make a brilliant addition to breakfast bowls, cakes and tarts as well as to savory vegetable bowls and salads. Take a look at my beloved birthday carrot cake for example. Here, they formed the perfect mildly sour balance to the sweet cake base and the creamy butter fillings. Another favorite of mine is to process them into a sugarfree berry-jam and top them onto a wholegrain slice of bread or a tortilla. 

Share Your Gooseberry Love 

I hope you enjoyed this little little Foodiepedia article aka "All you need to know about the summer fruit Gooseberry" post. Tag me on your next Gooseberry hunt and share your lovely plant food creations with me. I am beyond excited to see your very berry results. Tag me on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

xx, Karo

Sources: 

1. Eatsmarter (2020): Lexikon Stachelbeeren (August 2nd, 2020)

2. United Nations - FAO Org (2020): World's Gooseberry Production (August 2nd, 2020)

3. US Department of Agriculture; USDA (2020): Gooseberries (August 2nd, 2020)

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