History of Gooseberries and the Extraordinary Benefits

Part 1

     Do you know which one of these berries has the better taste? Or that these delicious berries, are grown in different parts of the world?

     This magnificent berry also has a longgrowing season, which enables those who enjoy them, to benefit from their taste and healthy benefits. They are easily frozen intruder to extend their use indoor eating enjoyment. If your guess was either of the colors, you would be correct because when either is consumed raw and unripened, the  gooseberries taste like sour grapes.

In my book, 70 is the new 50, in Chapter 2, My Own Life Experiences, I share with you an impression I had
as a small boy, which partially reads: MY OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES

 

While my father was away at work in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England., only 15 miles away, my grandfather taught me how to help the family with important chores such as picking apples, pears, plums and many soft fruits and vegetables we raised but the one I disliked the most were the Gooseberries, which had more thorns than anyone could stand to reach into for the berries. But I certainly didn’t mind climbing the ladders for picking the fruit in our orchards. Climbing for boys comes second nature and can be quite fun, however, this became a fun time chore. I really did not mind because I could eat whatever I wanted.

I invite you to pick up a copy of my book, sharing with me, the many experiences in my life. I sincerely hope you can , male or female, recognize the many blessings in your own life, for which you can be grateful for, even in your darkest hours.

Later in their growing season, and in certain altitudes (higher is better) you will find there are two kinds of gooseberries: the tart, cooking variety typically used for crumbles, and the sweet, dessert gooseberry, which can be eaten raw.  The sweet, dessert gooseberry, that can be eaten raw, are green.

They can also be used to flavor beverages other than liquor such as milk, waters, sodas , syrups and wines.

Due to the tart character of the gooseberry, they can be made sweeter by cooking them down with sugar, for use in cobblers, jams, pies, tarts, and crumbles. Once made into a jam, thumbprint or a variety of cookies can be enhanced with such flavor from the berries! Be sure to return for Part 2, where you will find a recipe for this cookie and a few surprises!

But, above all, when picking these berries, please do remember, that they must have the stems and tails that are attached on both ends, removed before cooking. And look out for those nasty little thorns, as they love to poke at your fingers!

The berries are also very good paired with other foods such as blueberries (which is one of my favorites and a bonus, being they are both very healthy) for desserts or jams. A nice creamy curd can be enhanced with the combination of these berries rather than lemon and they are absolutely delicious in a pie! They are also very good in many English classic recipes, such as the gooseberry fool (a whipped cream dessert and a recipe easily found online), or simmered with many cordials to accompany a pork roast, using it as a relish drizzled across the roast or as a dipping sauce.

In Britain, should you be hiking or driving around, it is not uncommon to come across an old abandoned foundation where you are likely to find a gooseberry bush, ripe and ready to pick! A jackpot find for sure but beware of these thorns! These bushes prefer high altitudes and cooler temperatures. In North America and Canada they do well in in the north, though they can be found on farms, along the west coastline areas of the USA as well. Their sharp and spiny bushes grow to be between 3 to 10 feet with the wild ones being much smaller than those grown in gardens. One bush alone could yield up to ten pounds of the delicious berries! The harvester decides if they want to pick them under-ripe if they are cooking tarts or ripe if using them for many different sweet desserts. These berries are even used for juices and liquors. Yet some varieties are so tart they cannot be eaten at all.

I have even heard that in a turkey dressing they are quite good, instead of using the cranberries, as many people currently use . Gooseberries are low in calories with only 44 calories per 3.527 ounces, full of vitamin C with less than 1% each of proteins and fat.

The climate in the British Isles appears to harvest these berries to a perfection while it even grows successfully in the northern parts of Scotland. It is also known that the flavor of this fruit improves with increasing latitude. Even in Norway, it was discovered that the bushes flourish on the west coast in many gardens, almost up to the Arctic Circle, and they are found wild as far north as 63°. However, these bushes do not fair well in the dry summers of the French and German plains. They are also seen doing very well under the shade of apple trees, in the gardens of England but need full exposure to the sun in the north, to bring the fruit to perfection.

Be sure to return mid January for Part 2, so you can read more about the healthy benefits, predicted future existence of these berries along with a few recipes of our own and a few borrowed, just for you.

If there is something you want to suggest as a topic, for my blog, then please share those ideas with me, by e-mailing them to: C.Ambrose.MamieAuthors@gmail.com

Until Later,

Chris Ambrose, Author

70 is the new 50

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