Until 3 years ago, I had never heard of a ground cherry. And other than my horseradish, ground cherries are the plant that visitors to my garden ask about most, since they are unfamiliar with them as well.
I’m really glad, though, that I’ve become acquainted with these sweet, delicious treats. These not-really-cherries are super easy to grow. They belong to the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and tomatillos. Like tomatillos, they grow in a papery husk which is removed before eating.
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When ripe, ground cherries turn a lovely golden color and fall to the ground. Thus the name.
I’m really terrible at describing the taste of a new food. I’ve heard others say they have a pineapple-ish taste. No, I wouldn’t say that. And yet, I couldn’t quite tell you what they do taste like.
Ground cherries can be baked into pies and other treats, I’m told. We’ve always just eaten them as is. I harvest them and leave them in a bowl on the kitchen counter and before you know it, they are gone.
Just the other day, though, Mike remarked that they would make a great salsa. Ground cherry salsa? Yes, I had to give that a try, and I’m really glad I did!
I thought I’d prefer the salsa without tomatoes. Mike thought he’d like the fresh salsa best with tomatoes. So I experimented with both ideas. In the end, we both preferred the ground cherry salsa that was half tomatoes and half ground cherries. But, delicious, either way.
More Ideas for Growing and Using Ground Cherries
The Beginning Farmer’s Guide to Berries (including ground cherries)
Are you familiar with ground cherries? What’s your favorite way to eat them?
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