Physalis originates from the highlands of Chile and Peru. From here natives have spread the fruit along the Andes Mountains. Incas started the cultivation many years ago. Today production has spread to most of the countries in South and Central America. The fruit in the pictures on this page are from Colombia. In early sea faring days, Physalis was used on ships as a source of vitamin C.
Physalis belongs to the same botanical family as tomatoes, pepino and potatoes. The physalis cherry is well protected inside the leaves, which form a type of nest around the fruit. The taste of this fruit is at first quite sour and fresh but ends with a hint of sugar. Taste wise it contains traces of tomato, passion fruit and pineapple.
The Physalis cherry should be eaten fresh, but can also be used in marmalades or in fruit salads. The physalis cherry is also frequently used as a cherry in cocktails. Physalis cherries can be frozen.
Opposite most other fruits, Physalis can when kept correctly have quite a long shelf life. At 10-16 grader and 80 % air humidity the fruits can stay fresh for 3-4 weeks. In private homes, these conditions can be difficult to make, so storage is recommended to be room temperature and consumption within 1 week is recommended.
It is important to note that Physalis very easy moulds when exposed to moisture, therefore good ventilation are necessary.