Peruvian Cherry is also known as Cape Gooseberry. The reason for this is as with many other fruits, that the name is often associated with the place, where the fruit was first commercialised and not the place of origin.
The peruvian cherry is native to Peru and Chile and has from there been widely introduced in other tropical, subtropical and even temperate areas. It is said to succeed, wherever tomatoes can be grown. One of its relatives is the strawberry tomato (P. Pruinosa). The most productive countries of the peruvian cherry are South Africa, Australia, China and India.
The peruvian cherry plant is between 1 and 1.5 meters high with ripped, spreading branches. The leaves are heart-shaped, and the flowers bell-shaped with yellow colour and cupped by a purplish-green calyx.
After the flower falls, the calyx expands forming a straw-coloured husk, that is much larger than the fruit, it encloses. The berry is globuse, 1 - 2 cm in diameter, with a smooth, glossy orange-yellow skin. The fruit pulp is yellow and juicy and contains a lot of very small yellowish seeds. The taste of the berry, when fully ripe, is sweet with a hint of grape. The husk is not edible.
The ripe fruit is generally eaten fresh straight from the plant or in fruit salads and fruit cocktails. Industrial it is often canned or made into jam. It can also be made into a sauce, which is superb together with yoghurt and ice cream.