Why you should make eating golden berries part of your diet

11th Jan 19 | Lifestyle

And yes, they're as tasty as they sound.

Fresh pichuberry (Cape Gooseberry), very delicious and healthy berry fruit, uchuva on brown wooden table with natural light green bokeh background

Golden berries might sound like a fruit made up by Roald Dahl, but trust us – they’re a real thing and actually pretty great.

The delicate orange berry has many names, including Peruvian groundcherry, physalis or Cape gooseberry, but for now we’ll just stick to the much easier golden berry. The French actually refer to it as ‘amour en cage’ which means ‘love in a cage’ – a rather romantic way to describe the brown husk you find the berries in.

January is all about trying new things, so now could be a good time to add this exotic fruit to your shopping list.

Here’s everything you need to know about the burnished fruits – from what they taste like, to how you can cook with it.

What do they look and taste like?

This is very much a tropical summer fruit, and the taste reflects that. It’s sweet with a citrus flavour, and there’s something of an acidic aftertaste which makes it ideal for both sweet and savoury dishes.

It’s actually related to the tomato, and when you slice the berries open you’ll see the resemblance to their cousins, with small edible seeds. They’re native to Brazil, but thrive in multiple warm climates.

Even though the tasty berries have a short season (between April and June in the Americas, and from August until the frost comes in England), you can still buy them from supermarkets like Waitrose and Sainsbury’s for £1 per 100g.

What are the health benefits?

‘Superfood’ is a word so overused it’s lost most of its meaning, but one thing’s for sure – golden berries give you bang for your buck.

They’re low in calories and fat, but high in good stuff like fibre, beta-carotene and vitamins C and K. Like blueberries, golden berries are bursting with antioxidants, which help slow ageing and reduce the incidence of some cancers. Some believe they have immune boosting and anti-inflammatory effects.

However, Heathline also warns golden berries can be poisonous – but that’s only if you eat them unripe. They’re actually part of the nightshade family, so if you eat them before they’re ready, you may ingest solanine, which could lead to diarrhoea and a pretty unhappy stomach.

How best to eat them?

It’s a fruit, so if you can’t be bothered to cook, you can just eat them as is. They’re perfect in a salad with other summer fruits – think blueberries, pears and apricots for maximum juiciness – or even in a savoury salad with quinoa and kale.

Considering how pretty the little golden spheres are, they’re a very Instagrammable (and delicious) addition to the top of your morning porridge or smoothie bowl.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, whip up a tart jam using this recipe from Taruna Deepak.

Like all good berries, they also make for a zingy addition to your favourite sweet treats. Just try this recipe from the Raw Chocolate Company which incorporates the fruit into fudge.

© Press Association 2019