Greenmarket Find: Husk Cherries

I discovered a new food this week. Or, rather, the food was new to me. I didn't invent it the basement or discover it in the ocean depths. I "discovered" it at the Union Square Greenmarket, where of course the growers already know about husk cherries. They look exactly like tiny tomatillos, and for good reason; they are smaller, wilder relatives of both the green tomatillo plant and the tomato.

I asked the producer, Haifa of Norwich Meadows, what do you do with a husk cherry? She popped one of these guys out of its papery wrapper for me to taste, and I startled other shoppers by yelling, "Wow!" But really, wow. They taste like a cross between a tomato, a pear, and a watermelon, with a little pumpkin undertaste. I know, it's a little hard to imagine. The taste is literally wild, the fruit equivalent of 'gamy.' They taste like something you'd find on growing on a rural roadside, but in a good way.

I asked Haifa again what to do with them. She told me to pick the ones that have pinkish husks, because they're the ripest, and put them in a beautiful bowl. In other words, eat them, dummy.

So I'll keep it simple and pop these tasty, sweet little fruits out of their husks as they turn pink. In their beautiful bowl.

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