Though this intriguing berry grows wild in many locations throughout the continental United States, it's generally cultivated in tropical zones such as Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and China. At first glance the cape gooseberry (also called golden berry, ground cherry, physalis and poha), with its inflated, papery skin (calyx), looks somewhat like a Chinese lantern. The bittersweet, juicy berries that hide inside the calyx are opaque and golden in color. To use the berries, peel back the parchmentlike husk and rinse. Because of their piquant aftertaste, cape gooseberries go nicely with meats and other savory foods. They're wonderful in pies, jams and all by themselves. Gooseberries from Oregon are available in July and August; those imported from New Zealand can be found from October to January. Look for those with a bright golden color; green berries are not ripe. Cape gooseberries are high in vitamin C.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.