Most of the time, everyone finds new snacks from companies creating new ones. They can range from sweet to healthy snacks and I must say, I enjoy many of them out there. My newest snack that I discovered I love is not only delicious but also healthy. And, my mom helped me discover it, plus gave me a great story to go along with it! My favorite new delicious and healthy snack: ground cherries.
How Did I Discover Ground Cherries?
A few weeks ago I was visiting at my parents’ house. While waiting for dinner, my mom gave me a small, brown paper bag and only said, “Try these”. Of course, before doing so, I asked what they were. The only answer I received was “They’re ground cherries. Just try them.” After I had one, I was hooked. They are so delicious! I then proceeded to eat about half of the bag before dinner. Oops! While eating them, my mom told me the story of when she was a little girl and eating them.
My mom’s grandma would send her and my uncle outside to gather ground cherries for canning purposes. Each time they went out to gather, they would be gone for a while. However, when they came back, their baskets were empty. Instead of gathering for my great-grandma’s canning, they would eat them as they went! My great-grandma would just laugh and send them back out to “gather” more!
So, What Are Ground Cherries?
Ground cherries come from the plant, Physalis. It is a flowering plant, part of the nightshade family. They are small orange fruit, wrapped in a paper-like husk. They look like a small tomatillo. Their flavor is very unique. It’s sweet and tart, at the same time. Many people compare it to a combination of both tomato and pineapple. I would agree with that similarity.
How Do You Eat Ground Cherries?
There are several ways to eat ground cherries. My favorite way is by eating them fresh, right after taking the husk off. There are several other ways to eat and use them though. I haven’t tried them all yet but I will soon!
- Eat them fresh, right off the stem
- Add them to a homemade salsa
- Include them in a goat and arugula salad
- Make them into a jam
Where Can You Find Ground Cherries?
The Physalis plant typically grows in the warm temperate or subtropical of the world. This means they are not natural to where I live, Minnesota, U.S.A. Although that’s the case, my mom ate them all the time from the plant while growing up. She also found them at the local farmer’s market. My suggestion to you is to search for them at the local farmer’s market. If you have a green thumb (unlike myself) then you may be able to grow them yourself, regardless of where you live!
If you’ve had ground cherries before, share your favorite memory or a recipe that uses them? I’d love to hear from others!