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This useful and wholesome fruit (Ribes grossularia) is thought to be indigenous to the British Isles, and may be occasionally found in a wild state in some of the eastern counties, although, when uncultivated, it is but a very small and inferior berry. The high state of perfection to which it has been here brought, is due to the skill of the English gardeners; for in no other country does it attain the same size and flavour. The humidity of the British climate, however, has doubtless something to do with the result; and it is said that gooseberries produced in Scotland as far north as Inverness, are of a very superior character. Malic and citric acid blended with sugar, produce the pleasant flavour of the gooseberry; and upon the proper development of these properties depends the success of all cooking operations with which they are connected.
The red and the white are the two principal varieties of gooseberries. The red are rather the more acid; but, when covered with white sugar, are most wholesome, because the sugar neutralizes their acidity. Red gooseberries make an excellent jelly, which is light and refreshing, but not very nourishing. It is good for bilious and plethoric persons, and to invalids generally who need light and digestible food. It is a fruit from which many dishes might be made. All sorts of gooseberries are agreeable when stewed, and, in this country especially, there is no fruit so universally in favour. In Scotland, there is scarcely a cottage-garden without its gooseberry-bush. Several of the species are cultivated with the nicest care.
Colonial Sense recipes using Gooseberry, Gooseberries:
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