Are you a huge fan of gooseberries? Then you may be delighted to discover that there are several other fruits like gooseberry for you to discover. Read on to check out our list of 8 other species that you can revel in.
Gooseberries’ flavor is often compared to that of green or pale pink grapes. This is actually quite close to the mark. Both fruits have tart skins that give way to juicy, sweet-tart flesh within.
One area in which they differ is that gooseberries are delightful baked into pies, while grapes aren’t amazing when baked or cooked. You can turn both of them into jelly, of course, as is witnessed by the awesomeness that is grape jelly. Especially when paired with PB on toast.
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These fruits are just about as close as you can get to gooseberries in size, flavor, and texture. Each gem-like currant fruit explodes with a burst of sweet-tart deliciousness when you bite into them. They come in all different hues ranging from deep purple to creamy white, with the most common ones being red and black. The white and yellow varieties are the ones that taste most like gooseberries, however, but you might want to try them yourself to find out.
You can eat them raw, baked, or transformed into various preserves. They’re also lovely juiced, or made into cordials! You should be able to find them at various farmer’s markets, so experiment with different recipes to determine which you like best.
3. Amla Fruits
These Indian gooseberries may look almost exactly like European varieties, but they’re actually very different plants. European goosberries are of the Ribes genus, from the Grossulariaceae family. In contrast, amla fruits are shrubs in the Phyllanthaceae family. Be sure to bring up this nugget of botanical nomenclature at the dinner table—your family will be immensely grateful for it.
They’re very similar in taste and texture, but are only found in parts of India and Southeast Asia. Of course, you can always get a jar of amla jam to have on crumpets.
As far as fruits like gooseberries go, jostaberries are pretty darned close. This is because they’re hybrids between blackcurrants and European gooseberries! As a result, they taste like a mixture between these cousins. They have a delightful crunch to them, but are sweeter than standard gooseberry varieties.
They were first grown in Germany, but have been naturalized all over northern and western Europe.
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5. Sea Grapes
Have you ever heard of sea grapes before? These are the fruits of the Coccoloba uvifera plant, and are also known as bay grapes. They grow prolifically throughout Florida and parts of the Caribbean, where they can be found on and around sandy beachfronts.
The fruits are similar to gooseberries in size, shape, and color. Flavor-wise, they’re significantly more sour, and aren’t very pleasant when eaten raw. That said, they’re high in pectin and are excellent sweetened and cooked into jams and jellies.
6. Hawaiian Huckleberries
While regular huckleberries grow all over North America, Hawaiian hucklerberries (Vaccinium reticulatum) only grow on volcanic soil. Specifically, they can only be found at elevations of 2,100 to 12,140 feet, mostly on lava flows and newly disturbed volcanic ash. Apparently they taste like a cross between gooseberries and cranberries: sweet, with a tart aftertaste.
If you live on Maui or O’ahu, you can try to find them so you can try them for yourself. You may have to fight some nēnē birds for them, but you could totally take them.
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7. Tiny Tomatoes
Some small tomato varieties are very similar to gooseberries in taste and texture. For example, certain tiny currant or cherry tomatoes (especially yellow varieties) taste almost exactly the same. They’re both sweet and tart, with the satisfying crunch when you break through the skin.
The one main difference is that these tomatoes are also delicious in savory dishes, while gooseberries are pretty much relegated to dessert land.
Although these are also known as “cape gooseberries”, they’re not related to regular gooseberries at all. In fact, physalis (aka ground cherries) are nightshade fruits. They’re closely related to tomatoes and tomatillos, and are grown decoratively as well as for snacks.
Their similarity to regular gooseberries lies in both their globular shape, and their sweet-acidic flavor.
As you can see, there are several other fruits like gooseberry that you can try out! Taste them raw, bake them into pies and tarts, and definitely make preserves out of them. Additionally, if you find that you really enjoy them, you can even try growing them yourself.
Here’s a tip for you: birds don’t register light-colored fruits as ripe. As a result, try growing yellow, white, or green berry varieties instead of red or purple ones. The fruits will ripen beautifully, but birds won’t recognize them as being ready to eat. This way, they won’t annihilate your berry bushes, thus leaving more for you and your family to enjoy.
If you feel like sharing, that is.