Gooseberries are small, round to oval berries.
They are found in the Northern Hemisphere.
Gooseberries are native to Europe, the Caucasus and northern Africa.
They are sparingly naturalized in scattered locations in North America.
Gooseberries are extremely hardy and are grown almost as far north as the Arctic Circle.
They thrive in moist, heavy clay soil in cool, humid climate. Good foliage is needed to protect the berries from the Sun.
The gooseberry is a straggling bush growing to 1.5 meters (5 feet) in height and width, the branches being thickly set with sharp spines, standing out singly or in diverging tufts of two or three from the bases of the short spurs or lateral leaf shoots. The bushes bear well for 10 to 20 years.
The bell-shaped flowers are produced, singly or in pairs, from the groups of rounded, deeply crenated 3 or 5 lobed leaves.
The oval berries are usually green but there are white, red (to purple) or yellow with. They have prickly, hairy, or smooth surface.
The tart fruit is eaten ripe and often made into jellies, preserves, pies, and other desserts or wine.
Extracts are used in numerous juices and soy beverage compositions to enhance sweetness upon consumption.
There are 44 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of gooseberries.
Gooseberries are a good source of dietary fiber and several other essential nutrients such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and manganese.
The health benefits of gooseberries include healing from harmful UV ray damage, good for the formation of red blood cells, helps boost the immune system of the body, reduce the risk of strokes and heart diseases, promote good eye health, helps prevent type 2 diabetes and promote longevity and youth. It also helps remove waste materials, excessive salts, and toxins, effective in relieving certain skin ailments including eczema and acne, prevent gum diseases that cause loosening, reddening, and inflammation of gums.
Once as popular as blueberries, the North American gooseberry faced setbacks due to the federal legislation’s attempt to protect the American forests from disease.
Gooseberry clubs, or societies, were first formed in England in the mid-eighteenth century, but they reached their peak of popularity during the mid 19th century. Few people today are aware of that craze, or the fruit which sparked it, since gooseberries went into a sharp decline and then, nearly out of fashion, after the First World War.
The “goose” in “gooseberry” has usually been seen as a corruption of either the Dutch word kruisbes or the allied German Krausbeere, or of the earlier forms of the French groseille. Alternatively, the word has been connected to the Middle High German krus (curl, crisped), in Latin as grossularia.
However, the Oxford English Dictionary takes the obvious derivation from goose and berry as probable because “the grounds on which plants and fruits have received names associating them with animals are so often inexplicable that the inappropriateness in the meaning does not necessarily give good grounds for believing that the word is an etymological corruption”.