Physalis: Discovering an ‘exotic fruit’ that adds pop to any salad

    Physalis fruit, sometimes called "ground cherries" have an exotic look with thin leaves resembling a Chinese paper lantern surrounding the interior edible fruit.
    Physalis fruit, sometimes called "ground cherries" have an exotic look with thin leaves resembling a Chinese paper lantern surrounding the interior edible fruit.

    While shopping for salad ingredients at the local grocery store, I came across pints of these pretty and unusual looking fruit called “Physalis” or ground cherries from Colombia stacked in the middle of the produce section.

    The plastic film on top advertised them as “Exotic Fruits” showing an image of the outside of the fruits which resemble Chinese paper lanterns (in fact, some do refer to them as chinese lantern fruit). To the left was a less exotic looking object, the yellow circular fruit inside which looked like a cherry tomato more than what I would imagine a “ground cherry” to look like. I decided to purchase a pint for my salad. At the very least it would be a good conversation piece.

    Plastic packaging on the pint of Physalis advertise them as "Exotic Fruit" from Colombia.

    When I unpacked them on the kitchen table, it took very little time for curiosity to provoke me to tear off the plastic film, coax the leaves to the side and pull off the enticing-looking yellow berry in the center. I popped it into my mouth and bit in.

    The yellow fruit enclosed by the exterior husk/leaves.

    The berry had an intense sweetness, followed by a subtle acidic tang. I would agree with the observation made by others that it has a unique tomato/pineapple-like taste to it. However, I would also add that the texture of the fruit inside is most comparable to fig.

    A cross-section of the ground cherry. The texture reminds of me fig.

    Perhaps it was the sheer novelty of these little suckers and the fact that they were so fun to eat which made the pint of them disappear so fast. By the time I was making the salad for dinner, they were gone.

    However, with a little restraint next time, I am confident that this ground cherry would add an exciting pop to any bland salad.

    Explore. Create. Live. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 9,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to 
    Stark Insider on YouTube, the largest arts & travel channel in San Francisco.
    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • Teresa Dalton

      During a recent walk through the outside farmers market in Olympia, Wa. during Christmas I found a booth that had these “ground cherries” dipped in chocolate and they were wonderful. Just another idea of what you can use them for other then in salads……..yummmmm!

      • That does sound delicious. I would imagine it was dark chocolate? I could absolutely imagine this fruit paired with dark chocolate….mmm!

        I am aware they could also be used for making jam. However, I would think unless you had a bumper crop of them yourself, these are still too much of a novelty to turn into jam.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.

    • who to buy ground cherry, who to get plan cherry?
      you can email to me : nasrud1n_moch_nur@yahoo.com
      I am Indonesian, live in Jakarta.