Tuesday, December 6, 2011
One of the first thing my small daughter asks when visiting Debbie on garden group days is... “Can I have a little present?” What she is actually referring to is a cape gooseberry. She and her slightly older brother absolutely love them. They spend the entire time while we are there making regular trips back to the bush for another little present. Everyone I have seen try one seems to agree they are quite delicious. I would describe them like a cherry tomatoes that bursts in your mouth with a passion fruit flavored explosion.
The reason my daughter calls them little presents is that they are wrapped in a loose package that when the fruit inside is ripe goes crisp like paper. Getting to the fruit feels just like unwrapping a present. Which seems to add to the enjoyment of the whole experience.
The first photo above shows what they look like a little under ripe, the second a little over ripe. I did want to show you one when perfectly ripe, but do you think I could find one after the munchkins had got to em. So you are just going to have to image it glossy like the first but bright orange like the second.
I also think they look like a string of Chinese lanterns with the way they hang down from the branch, particularly in this photo with the water feature in the background. But they are not from China instead they are indigenous to South America but due to being heavily cultivated in the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) they now often go by the name "cape" gooseberry. Unlike the name suggests the plant is not related to others varieties of gooseberry. It belongs to the Solanaceae family along with the tomato.
Back at our first garden group meeting Debbie gave us a cutting that has been growing slowly in a pot waiting for us to decide where it will be permanently planted. It seems to do well in Adelaide's climate and Debbie’s always has an abundance of fruit. As you can see ours has its first little presents. How exciting!
Have you ever tried one?