When at the Farmers Market last week I made a happy discovery. In with the tomatoes was a sign for husk tomatoes. Never heard of them. I asked what they were and it turns out they are a super sweet variety of tomato. I thought what the heck – let’s try something new.
After tasting the first one, I’m in love. Wrapped in papery husk is a small bright yellow-orange berry about the size of a large blueberry – packaged much like a Tomatillo or Japanese Lantern. I later discovered they also go by the name of Ground Cherry (these I’ve heard of) or Cape Gooseberry (nothing like a normal gooseberry.) According to Seed Savers Exchange they have been recorded as early as 1837 in Pennsylvania.
Their taste was a little hard to place at first because I wasn’t sure if I was eating a sweet tomato or a savory berry. After eating a handful I could taste the tomato flavor and then hints of pineapple or strawberry. I thought they even had a little bit of a nutty or vanilla flavor to them as well.
Given their sweetness I’m sure they would be good in a jam or pie but I’m having too much fun just eating them as they come. It’s fun to peel away the paper husk and pluck this delicious berry from the center then savor the pop of sweetness as you first bite into it.
I’ve had the bag with me and had everyone I’ve encountered eat one – just because its so much fun to discover something new! I’m hoping my next trip the Rockland Farmers Market yields another pint or two! And they have gone to the top of my list of new plants to grow next year. I already have the perfect spot in mind for them!