Friday, August 12, 2011

ground cherries

have you ever tried a ground cherry? if not you are in for a treat. a sweet treat!

a relative of the tomatillo, they are a little bit smaller than a cherry tomato and when ripe are a pale golden yellow. they have a hint of tomato but are much sweeter and quite fruity.

when i first tried them i was surprised with the taste and couldn’t quite describe it. and then realized how tropical they tasted. they taste a little like a pineapple with a touch of vanilla. i have grown to like them very much and there is something about pulling away that little paper skin, just like a candy wrapper.

harvesting ground cherries is fun and easy. just shake the plant and the ripe ones fall into puddles onto the ground.

today I made a simple salsa with them.

1 large handful of ground cherries cut in half
2 large handfuls of 2 different kinds of cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic minced
1 cup of roasted corn
3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro or basil chopped (my cilantro is petering out so I used basil)

combine ingredients.
squeeze juice of one lime over mixture along with ¼ cup olive oil.
Salt to taste.


p.s. i am excited to announce that next week will be a week of guests here at tend.


  1. they look delicious, I've grown Cape Gooseberry which looks like them, yummy but a little getting used to. They look quite prolific too.

  2. kirsty: yes i have heard that another name for the ground cherry is the cape gooseberry.

  3. we call them pineapple tomatillos or husk cherries. we had wild plants growing here when we moved in but they seem to have disappeared. this summer, we planted two and they just flowered. i love these.

  4. There are several species with edible berries in the Physalis group, tomatillos are one, ground cherries another. Many of the other types are commonly called ground cherries, and vary in taste, color and size.

    It is confusing as to which fruit is which, mostly because of the use of common names. Physalis peruviana is another relative also called the cape gooseberry. We are growing these, but we will need more summer for them to ripen, and it's not looking promising.

    Tomatillos are next for me to try!! (physalis philadephica)

  5. Ah! Thank you for this post.
    We just came across husk cherries this year and decided to try them. I only have two plants as I didn't know what to expect with them and I haven't known what to do with the small harvest of fruit I have on hand. Our soon to be three year old loves eating them as is but I do have enough to give this recipe a go. yay!

  6. My mother-in-law and husband's family has always made Ground Cherry Pie! They are Mennonite and I believe this may be a traditional dessert. I've had it several times and it's tart but good. This one looks similar:
    Also the cookbook "Simply in Season" (a cookbook geared toward using foods in season) has a ground cherry bar recipe!

  7. How neat! I have never heard of them, but will be looking for them now! Thanks!

  8. We grew them for the first time this year a gift from a friend. They are wonderful!

  9. I tasted ground cherries for the first time 2 years ago in Montreal. Yes, the memory is still very vivid! I love them!