Physalis Goldenberry from St. Lawrence Market

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In my quest to find a new exotic fruit I had never tried, I found myself at St. Lawrence Market.   This is a market I frequent to buy fresh seafood and meats for BBQ, and they always carry a fresh variety of fruits and vegetables as well.   While the market may be just down the street from our class, it was voted the top Food Market in the world by National Geographic in 2015 (Food Journeys of a Lifetime, 2009).

White browsing the selection of produce at the market, I came across a section of “Tropical Fruits”.   I looked over the items before settling on a small basket of Goldenberry’s.   The fruit looked unfamiliar and exotic enough to suit the needs of the blog.   I was a little indecisive and bought a starfruit as a backup as well.   I knew some exotic fruits may be an acquired taste, so I was pleased when the Goldenberry gave off a sweet scent.

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The Goldenberry originates from South America, and is a member of the Physalis family.   It is about 2 centimeters in diameter and closely resembles an unripe tomato encased within a leaf pod (Morton 1987).

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I had no idea what to expect from the Goldenberry, yet it looked palatable enough with an agreeable smell.   The exterior is smooth just like a tomato, and the seeds are very small and edible.   I had heard this was a fruit commonly used in desserts and expected a much sweeter flavour.   However, I was presented with a sweet yet fairly sour flavour, and plenty of tiny small seeds.   I have no idea why I thought it might be seedless, perhaps it reminded me of a cherry tomato where the seeds are not very prominent.   The initial flavour from the bite wasnt the usual sweet fruit and reminded me more of some vegetables like a pepper.   The sweetness intensified before giving off a unique after taste similar to Kyoho grapes.

If I were to personally use this food for cooking, I think I would use it to create perhaps a jam that isnt as traditionally sweet, or to put on pastries that dont require a lot of sweetener as well.   Upon looking online for recipes, the ones I thought sounded the best were the salad’s that incorporated the Goldenberry.   The one I found uses dried Goldenberries combined with mozzarella, celery, and avocado, drizzled with a vinaigrette.   Given the flavour of the fruit and its lack of sweetness, I found this to be an appropriate use of the fruit.

This was a valuable experience because I no longer go out looking for new fruits to try.   I think i’m in a rut of eating the same standard fruit year after year.   I think going out and trying the Goldenberry taught me the importance of constantly evolving to meet the new market needs.   The Goldenberry while not the most popular fruit, definitely has a distinct flavour, and finding the perfect dish to incorporate the fruit may bring it more main stream.

 

References

Steph. (2015, December 09). Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market Ranked Best Food Market In … Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.narcity.com/toronto/torontos-st-lawrence-market-ranked-best-food-market-in-the-world/

Morton JF (1987). “Cape gooseberry, Physalis peruviana L. in Fruits of Warm Climates”. Purdue University, Center for New Crops & Plant Products.

St. Lawrence Market | Central Toronto Real Estate. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://ilovetoronto.com/toronto-neighbourhoods/st-lawrence-market-real-estate
Avocado Salad with Goldenberries – Terrafertil Goldenberries. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.terra-fertil.co.uk/recipes/avocado-salad-goldenberries/
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