Goosey goosey gander…

The other day, I blogged about these

From Raphael's mum

…that my ex-student, Raphael’s mum gave to me, something that I had never seen before, much less tried eating them. We thought they were tomatillos but my ex-classmate/friend, Robert’s sister commented on Facebook saying that they were gooseberries. I quickly went and googled but no, they did not look anything like these…so I told her that and then she said she should have specified that they were cape gooseberries or Physalis peruviana. Ah yes!!! They certainly look the same just that they have a much nicer colour than the ones we had…so I quickly went to update that post to give the fresh information thus obtained.

In the meantime, my friend, Mary, came back from Thailand and she bought these…

Cape gooseberries

…in Bangkok and brought then back to Sibu. She said that they were labelled as just gooseberries there and she passed me some to try.

Frankly, I had never seen nor heard of this thing before – all I knew was the expression, ‘to play gooseberry”. If a couple go on a date and you go and tag along, you are said to be playing gooseberry – I think locally, people will say you are “playing lamp post” or boh ciak changย in Hokkien, literally translated as “you do not eat onions”. As the saying goes, “Two is a company, three is a crowd.”

The yellow colour of these from Bangkok…

Cape gooseberry

…brought to mind our terung Dayak (Dayak brinjal) but no, these are not as sour – just a hint of it but mostly sweet and not only is there the difference in colour but it also tastes a little different from the ones I got from Raphael’s mum. I thought comparatively, those were sweeter but of course, they were very very much smaller, about the size of a pearl. Perhaps this is a different variety like how there are some tomatoes of different shades of red and orange and there are some green ones too or perhaps, our hot weather has stunted its growth so they are not as big.

The ones from Mary are much bigger, though not all that big but as big as a 20-sen coin

Gooseberry and coin

I cut one open to have a look and this is what the cross-section is like…

Gooseberry, cross-section

It sure does not look like a tomato, does it…or maybe, just a little? According to this website, it is a fruit of the potato family. Hmmm…it sure does not look nor taste anything like a potato…and it says that it has a lot of health benefits. You can click the link to go and read all about it.

Well, at least, now I know what cape gooseberries are and thank you so much, Mary, for the ones you gave to me. No, I only tried one and I am saving the rest for my girl when she comes home. She loved the ones from Raphael’s mum – I also saved them for her other than the few that I planted and she finished all of them in one sitting. I bet she will love these too…and hey! It’s Friday today and she’ll be home for the weekend. Yeahhhh!!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

16 thoughts on “Goosey goosey gander…”

  1. I don’t remember potatoes having seed so to me they are more like tomatoes.

    Your first picture reminds me of buah letup letup, something I found so often when I was as young as Ethan. We used to go play in the bushes and eat those! I don’t know if they are the same as yours but they do have a strong resemblance.

    Come to think of it, when I was younger, it was fun to just pluck stuffs and eat and not die from it. haha! These days, I wont allow the boys to eat anything plucked from the wild -.-

    I never saw anything like these before though some dried flower seeds look quite similar but we never ate them. Only thing I ate would be those Ixora flowers, but no, we did not eat them – just plucked them and sucked the sweet juice from the ends. Yes, kids these days sure miss out on a lot but for one thing, they are not in the least interested…in anything other than their smartphones and their online games.

  2. First time seeing this fruit. It reminds me of the wild fruit found in bushes called “pik pok” I used to eat when I was a kid. Looks more like belonging to the tomato family than the potato.

    I would agree, nothing like a potato. My first time too, both.

  3. Yeah! Know you could not wait to pick and see Melissa for the weekend!!

    Gooseberries. Ok. I learn a new fruit today. Or a family of potato to be precise. ^^ Somehow I think I seen this before but dont think I ever try it.

    Seems like I am not the only one – so many of us don’t know about the existence of these. Very nice, delicious. I am sure Melissa would enjoy the ones from Thailand when she comes home later today. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Yup gooseberries, they like to use as decoration for cakes. We can buy them here in most atas supermarket, not too expensive

    Oh? Not too expensive but sold at the more atas supermarts? Hmmmm!!!! Gee!!! I’ve had the chance to enjoy some more atas stuff. Yipeeee!!!! LOL!!!

  5. They sell these physalis in supermarkets over here, and yes very common as a decor on cakes. I do like eating them a lot!

    Yes, they’re nice, eh? I like! Decor on cakes? Interesting! Don’t think they sell these anywhere here. I’ve planted those local ones from my ex-student’s mum – hopefully, something will come out of it.

  6. Wow. It amazes me to think that there are many things we haven’t seen or tasted that are usual or normal for others. How diverse we are.

    Yes, and at times like these with all the unhealthy processed foods loaded with all kinds of chemicals, it is a blessing that we have a treasure trove in our own backyard. Natural and fresh.

  7. Wow – congrats on your beautiful CNY header. I love the pic.

    Thanks. It’s the season right now – I think I will keep it till after Chap Goh Meh. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. These are a favourite garnish in Europe and South America. They’re not usually consumed in big bundles (from what I’ve seen at least), but rather used to add a little colour to a dish.

    So one is not supposed to pop them in the mouth and eat like cherries, eh? I would imagine they would be great as add-ons for some dishes…or for salads.

  9. I spotted those gooseberries today at the supermarket! They cost RM10.90 a box of 100g. I was tempted to buy them to try, but the stinginess in me prevailed ๐Ÿ˜€

    Good grief!!! That is extremely expensive!!! Over RM100 a kg!!! *faints* Boy! Am I lucky to get some to try…for free? Hehehehehe!!!!

  10. All for the love of a girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Papa’s girl… Well, we as parents always do that… think of our little ones first.. and their happy faces make us feel good too… Coming back to the fruits/vegetables, I have never taken them before… but the gooseberry look like tomato cherries only that it is yellow in colour..

    I am not a fan of cherry tomatoes, tomatoes I do not mind…but these, I like – nice…but at over RM100 a kg (See Phong Hong’s comment above)…no, thank you. I can live without them. I would not even buy grapes or cherries but that’s me – I’m no fan of those. My girl’s back, the weekend begins right now. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. The Cape Gooseberry is a member of the deadly nightshade family i.e. tomatoes, potatoes and egg plants. They look good dried (but not for fung shui), makes good jam, relish, garnish on iced cakes and lovely to eat. It is slightly tart when under ripe and is aromatic. They are not advisable to consume them in abundance on a regular basis as they are not good for people with chronic pain.

    Oh? My girl ate quite a lot of the tiny local ones the previous time but not these from Thailand – she prefers the former. Maybe we’ve kept them for too long, she said it was very sour so she just had one or two.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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