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April 15, 2016

Golden Berries and Golden Berry Relish

by Anne Paddock

Golden Berries are making an appearance in grocery stores nationwide. Native to high altitude tropical climates – and particularly Peru and Columbia – Golden Berries are small round berries that look like yellow cherry tomatoes but with a sweet and mild tart flavor.

Also known as Peruvian Ground Cherries, Cape Gooseberries, Uchuva, and Physalis (its scientific name), Golden Berries have traditionally been used to make jams, preserves, and as an exotic garnish on tarts.  More recently, the berries are being enjoyed as is, chopped in a salad, or diced in a relish (see recipe below).

canstockphoto34865832Grown wild and widely cultivated, the Golden Berry has a papery husk which is removed when the berry is harvested. The berry (which is actually not a berry but a member of the tomatillo/eggplant family) is shiny yellow or orange and is a bit sticky to the touch. This protective sap – which is safe to eat – can be rinsed off.Golden_Berries

A dense small fruit, the Golden Berry has very tiny seeds that are virtually undetectable.Golden_Berry_Interior

Nutritionally, the Golden Berry is rich in antioxidants, high in Vitamin A and C, and a good purse of thiamin, iron, niacin, and pectin, The berries also have about 3 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.

Golden Berries are sold in half pint containers (usually 6 ounces as these are heavy berries) and can be found in the exotic or section where raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are in the grocery store. The prices vary depending on the distributor but generally are about $5 for a half pint.Golden_berries_Half_Pint

Golden Berry Relish (serves 6-8)Golden_Berry Relish

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-ounce bag of Villagio Marzano Tomatoes (available at Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores) or a pint of sweet grape tomatoes
  • 1 – 6-ounce half-pint container of Golden Berries
  • 1 Haas Avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons excellent quality balsamic vinegar (optional) Note:  There is a difference between cheap and good quality balsamic vinegar. Buy the best you can afford.
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • Chop the tomatoes, golden berries, and avocado into small pieces.
  • Gently place the tomatoes, berries, avocado, and chopped cilantro in a mixing bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the balsamic vinegar (optional) over the relish and gently stir to blend.
  • Serve immediately.IMG_1811

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