They're gooseberries! I had tried gooseberries before — but only in the form of jam (from IKEA — hardly local and unique!). Gooseberry jam has a pleasant tang and an acidic sweetness, and it is actually my very favorite thing to pair with plain yogurt.
But I had never seen fresh gooseberries until I found this package at a supermarket in Vancouver Island, BC. My husband and I were staying outside a little village on the east coast during the last leg of our recent vacation, and we wandered into the grocery store to buy some coffee. I spotted these in the produce section, but they didn't have any sort of label, except for a sticker proclaiming them as locally grown.
I had just been at the UBC Botanical Gardens, though, and seen red gooseberries growing in their edible garden.
What do they taste like? They are quite tart, although larger, softer berries were sweeter. They have a prickly fuzz, and little "tops and tails" on either end from the stem and flower. You pull these off, then eat the berry whole. They were very refreshing and delicious, but after we smuggled them back home, I decided to make jam with the remnant. See the recipe and result tomorrow!
Do you cook with gooseberries?
(Images: Faith Durand)