Look what I came home with! Have you seen these before? I hadn’t, and actually, since they weren’t signed, I didn’t even know what they were until I paid for them. Gooseberries! After reading Hungry Monkey (hilarious!) and now The Spice Necklace, I guess I’m feeling a little food adventurous.
So what, exactly is a gooseberry? Well, to me, it looks like a prehistoric grape, with a thicker, veined, and spiney skin (sort of like nettles). It also has a lot more seeds, and a somewhat sour flavor. They can be eaten raw, but most often I think they are cooked into desserts. In the end, I made a simple gooseberry syrup and used it to make a Gooseberry Fool (substituting sour cream for creme fraiche) and enjoyed the rest in a Gooseberry San Pellegrino soda.
Processing gooseberries takes some time. To make the syrup, you trim the top and bottom of each berry, and then slice it in half. Thankfully, they cook and mash down quickly, maybe 5-10 minutes. After straining out the seeds and skin, my pint of gooseberries yielded about one cup of syrup. Here are several gooseberry recipes that also look good: