Ground Cherry

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

This is one name for a couple of related fruits from low-lying plants in the nightshade family, close relatives of the tomatillo. The Peruvian or Cape ground cherry or gooseberry, Physalis peruviana, came from South America, while the ordinary ground cherry, P. pubescens, is native to both North and South America. Both fruits resemble miniature, thick-skinned yellowish tomatoes, are enclosed in papery husks (thus another name, husk tomato), and keep well at room temperature. The Peruvian ground cherry has floral and caramel aroma notes in addition to generically fruity esters. These fruits are made into preserves and pies.