Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jul 12, 2001 04:32 PM


  • d

What a lovely surprise to find fresh gooseberries (never had them) and fresh red currants at the market along with the other seasonal berries.
Had to get them but now not sure what I want to do with them. Tons of recipes for jams, jellies and hear them make good tarts but would love some suggestions that take advantage of their fresh natural state? Any help?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gooseberries are generally considered to be too tart to eat raw.

    The classic way to serve up a mess of gooseberries is gooseberry fool: gooseberries cooked in a little water and sugar until soft, then mashed or pureed, and folded into whipped cream.

    Yum. Takes me back to long summer evenings at my Aunt's house in England, searching for enough berries ripening against the brick wall at the back of my Uncle's extensive kitchen garden to make gooseberry fool for dinner ... or maybe tea.

    Anyway, I found a whole site full of recipes:


    5 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Thanks much. I had seen some of these in my cookbooks, but not some of the others.
      Seems once I make the puree I can do about anything with it.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        This may be a silly question, but are gooseberries anything like barberries?

        Barberries are commonly used in Persian cooking, and if they were available fresh... well, I'd love to get my hands on some!

        1. re: Fatemeh

          I don't know, Fatemeh. What's a barberry like?

          The traditional gooseberry closely resembles a green grape (with longitudinal whitish pinstripes) in size, shape, color and translucency of skin. The ones I saw in England tended to be larger and more oblong -- more like a Thompson seedless grape while the varieties common in the US are more like a perlette; I've also seen golden and red forms. Unlike a grape, it has a blossom end and many tiny dark seeds inside. Hey, I found a picture.

          Hope this helps!


          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I found a site that discusses and has pictures of all kinds of berries, including gooseberries and barberries (scroll down to the very end).

            Barberries do not appear to be anything like gooseberries.


            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Wow, thanks Ruth!

              Though from what I've read, I bet you could use gooseberries in place of barberries in Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice). I'll have to dig up a recipe for you... speaking of which, I can't seem to find a really good Persian restaurant for authentic "Chelo-kabab" in the Bay Area.

              Any suggestions?

      2. It's odd that you can only find sour gooseberries here - I'm starting to think farmers are just plucking them off the bush too soon. I grew up in the Czech Republic where my grandmother grew gooseberries in her back yard. We waited until the berries turned yellowish or pink on the plant, and they were absolutely sweet, soft, and delicious. I was appalled by the gooseberries I tried from Berkeley Bowl, and wondered why anyone would buy something so sour.