Gooseberries have been cultivated in Europe, and especially in England, since the 15th century but now the western Asia, United States and Canada have the most species.
Some people say that the origin of the name gooseberry stems from the fact that it is often served with goose. Although the English enjoy uncooked ripe gooseberries, Americans enjoy them more in pies, tarts, jams, jellies, conserves, preserves and marmalades.
Taste of Gooseberry: Sour, but now sweeter-tasting varieties have been developed which are more palatable for eating.
Health Benefits of Gooseberry:
- Beneficial for the liver and intestinal tract.
- High in potassium and organic sodium which can help remove uric acid.
- Good source of bioflavonoid.
- Gooseberry leaf tea is a good remedy for urinary tract and menstrual disorders.
- Beneficial for diabetes as it reduces the level of sugar in the blood.
- Helps increase production of red blood cell in the body.
- Gooseberry juice is beneficial in correcting the cataract and shortsightedness.
- Helps strengthen the teeth and nails.
- When consumed regularly it can help in controlling hair loss and premature graying of hair.
Nutrient Content in Gooseberry:
- Vitamin A: 1,330 I.U. (in one pound)
- Vitamin C: 50mg (per cup of raw berries)
- Calcium: 100 mg (in one pound)
- Iron: 2.3 mg (in one pound)
- Potassium: 230mg (per cup)
- Phosphorus: 127 mg (in one pound)
- Protein: 3.6 g (in one pound)
- Fat: 0.9 g (in one pound)
- Carbohydrates: 44 g (in one pound)
- Fiber: 3g (per cup of raw berries)
- Calories:180 (per cup)
Gooseberry Varieties: There are two types of gooseberries, the European and American gooseberry. Though both types have nearly similar nutritional value, they only differ in color and size; the European varieties have larger and more flavorful fruits than the American varieties.
- Pixwell: (American) This variety produces round 1/2-inch berries that are light green, maturing to a soft pink.
- Clark: The most productive of the European gooseberry types. The berries are very large and red when ripe.
- Fredonia: (European) Available early mid-season. Ripens several days after Clark.
Cooking Gooseberry: To retain the shape of the berry when cooking, poach slowly. They are done when the seeds have escaped and the skins collapse.
How to Buy Gooseberry: While choosing gooseberries for consumption, it is better if you can get the purple ones. These are very mild in their bitterness and can be consumed in their raw form.