I just read about ground cherries only yesterday in Willa Cather's My Ántonia, and serendipitously here they are in this week’s CSA delivery. Each one comes in its own elegant little five-paneled papery lampshade. The spherical berries are deep yellow and very sweet. To my taste, they are entirely unlike either cherries or tomatoes. Their flavor is more like caramel, even a little butterscotchy, with some lavender and maybe just the teeniest bit of citrus. There are some lovely recipes out there, but I don’t see how anything could be more fun than just peeling and eating each one. I would suggest making a nice cup of tea.
I sat down in the middle of the garden, where snakes could scarcely approach unseen, and leaned my back against a warm yellow pumpkin. There were some ground-cherry bushes growing along the furrows, full of fruit. I turned back the papery triangular sheths that protected the berries and ate a few. All about me giant grasshoppers, twice as big as any I had ever seen, were doing acrobatic feats among the dried vines. . . . I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. . . . I was entirely happy.
The Yiddish word for ground cherry is vinterkarsh (physalis peruviana) or khinezish lamterl (physalis alkekengi).Sweetnicks.
Food and Drink, Food, Vegetarian, vegan, antioxidant-rich foods, ground cherries, husk cherries, cape gooseberries, husk tomato, strawberry tomato, golden berry, golden husk, poha, fruit, willa cather, My Antonia, My Ántonia