Gooseberries (Ribes Hirtellum) are nutrient-dense bits of explosive taste. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, the humble gooseberry is held in high regard by consumers in European and Asian cultures. While not as easy to locate in the U.S., when it comes to purchasing this elusive berry, we have all the information you need, right here.
The Gooseberry: A Rare and Unassuming Superfood
Before we discuss what’s involved in buying gooseberries, a brief introduction is required. This is because the gooseberry is a fruit that’s quite uncommon in the states due to a ban placed on them in the early 1900s. However, today, the gooseberry is staging a comeback. Though still a rare find in most U.S. grocery stores, their numbers are rising.
The gooseberry is a tasty fruit that starts out tart and gains its sweetness as it ages. Unripe gooseberries are generally tart to taste and green in color. On the other hand, ripe gooseberries are dark purple in color and are the sweetest of all, and get their plumpness from the succulent juices inside. Due to their high nutrient content, many consider gooseberry to be a superfood.
The benefits of gooseberries
Gooseberries, also known as Indian gooseberries or amla, are small, tart berries that are widely used in traditional medicine and cooking. Here are some of the potential benefits of consuming gooseberries:
- Rich in nutrients: Gooseberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals.
- May boost immunity: Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system, and gooseberries are one of the richest sources of this nutrient. Consuming gooseberries regularly may help improve immune function and protect against infections.
- May improve digestion: Gooseberries are high in fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. They also contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the gut and improve nutrient absorption.
- May lower blood sugar levels: Some studies suggest that consuming gooseberries may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This may be due to the presence of compounds that help regulate insulin secretion and improve glucose uptake in the body.
- May have anti-inflammatory properties: Gooseberries contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming gooseberries may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is linked to a variety of chronic health conditions.
Overall, gooseberries are a nutritious and tasty addition to a healthy diet. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of consuming gooseberries. As with any food or supplement, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet.
Buying Gooseberries: Online and International Markets May Be Your Best Choice
When it comes to buying gooseberries, you may find that it’s not as easy as it seems. While gooseberries were a large part of our meals in decades past, the same cannot be said for today. Because of the 1911 ban, the gooseberry is considered by grocers to be an ’emerging crop’. When the ban on gooseberries was lifted in 1966, the choice to allow gooseberries to be grown or sold in stores was left up to each state. To see if your state allows the sale of gooseberries, check the following list. Despite this, we’ve collated some sources where you may find them:
- Online stores such as Amazon
- Well-stocked supermarkets that cater to international foods
- Italian food markets
- Indian food markets where they are sold as Alma
- Gooseberry Growers like Northwest Wild Foods
While most U.S. grocers won’t have them, one American grocery chain just might, and that is Whole Foods Market. But how would you know for sure if your local Whole Foods has them in stock? Simply visit their website and enter your zip code to find a local Whole Foods store near you that sells them.
Finally, don’t forget your local farmers market. Many people buy gooseberry bushes with the intent to harvest and sell the berries at these markets. If you’re going to try this route, know that the best time to look buy gooseberries in these markets is between May and August with July being their peak season.
Where are Gooseberries Sourced From?
You can find wild gooseberries in most forests in the U.S. In states where they are legal, you can find them being grown on farms such as Northwest Wild Foods. When cultivated for purchase, gooseberries are gathered from bushes. Globally, gooseberries can be found in North America, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Finally, due to their rarity, most people simply buy the bushes and grow them in their backyards! Of course, please check to see that it’s legal in your state to do so.
Finding Gooseberries in Your Store
If you’re fortunate enough to reside in a big city, then you just might be able to purchase fresh gooseberries at a local market. This is because large cities often host international markets. These international supermarkets are all about providing customers with the finest foods native to certain countries, such as Italy, and India. In such markets, you can find gooseberries packed in neat little plastic containers, placed in the produce section with canned varieties in the canned fruit section.
Are No Fresh Gooseberries Available? Try for Canned, Dried, Powdered, or Fillings
If you can’t get your hands on fresh or frozen gooseberries, fear not. This modest fruit also comes in different variations. Below is a list of various versions of gooseberries, from canned to dried:
- Canned gooseberries in syrup
- Gooseberry jams, preserves, spreads, and jellies
- Powdered gooseberries
- Gooseberry extracts
- Gooseberry pie fillings
- Dried gooseberries
Their Rarity Comes at a Price
Since they’re a rarity in U.S. markets, buying gooseberries can be quite pricey when fresh. For instance, 3 pounds of fresh gooseberries can cost you up to $34.99 with 18 pounds costing you $169.99. Average prices of other varieties:
- Canned gooseberries: $5.99/can
- Gooseberry powder: $9.99
- Gooseberry juice: $24.99
- Dried gooseberries: $14.99
As can be seen, buying gooseberries isn’t as easy as one would hope. Despite the ban being lifted in 1966, consumers still haven’t quite caught on to this modest berry. Until things change, this relative of the everyday current will remain obscure to many. Packed with valuable nutrients such as quercetin, the evasive gooseberry can be found online in various forms from fresh to canned. They make flavorful jellies, spreads, and jams as well as the main ingredient in the famed gooseberry pie.
Gooseberries are high in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. They have been linked to improved immune function and reduced risk of chronic diseases.