August 20th, 2010

Nextian - Name that Fruit!

Ground cherries

Ground Cherry

At the Valley Junction farmer's market today, I ran across an unfamiliar fruit: ground cherries. They looked like tiny physalises, but tasted rather different from any I'd had before. On the basis of a sample, I bought a punnet of them. We ate them for dessert.

They're small, perhaps a centimeter across, and clearly a physalis relative. The fruits themselves are densier, jammier than any physalis I've had, a sort of hazelnut-cherry combo of flavor with a touch of very ripe melon. The woman who sold them to me said they're frequently used in making jam.

This website says they might be Physalis pruinosa, also known as the husk tomato. Wikipedia lists an astonishingly large range of variations on the genus Physalis, most known by some variation of ground cherry. I don't know which kind they were. Not a cape gooseberry/physalis as I've met them but, indeed, a relative.