Fix yourself a dang tomatillo

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit a food market. Sure, it’s great to see the famous touristy things, but to really know a place, you need to know its food. It’s why I insisted I eat Surstromming when I was in Sweden, despite the objections by my traveling companions. After all, it’s one of the foulest smelling foods on the planet, so who can blame them?

I thought moving to Schenectady from CA, I had seen just about every type of produce available in the US. Not only does California benefit from a long growing season, but it also has a large influx of immigrants who are willing to buy exotic fruits and veggies not found in most places.

So, it was surprising when I came across a new fruit right here in the Capital Region. It’s the ground cherry, or Physalis. You don’t find this in the supermarket, but it is available at farmers markets in the area. I picked up mine at the Saturday market on Union Street.

Ground Cherries
Ground Cherries

This particular fruit is slightly sweet, and each one is individually wrapped! In case you were curious, it’s related to the tomatillo, that fruit used to make delicious green salsa.

Is the ground cherry my new favorite fruit? No, but it is something that is fun to snack on and is only available in the late summer. It’s also a fruit that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and because of that, it’s a fruit I’ll always associate with the Capital Region. They won’t be available for much longer this year, so find them while you can!

Just in case you were wondering, the title refers to this scene from Napoleon Dynamite.


One thought on “Fix yourself a dang tomatillo”

  1. I got some of those and enjoyed them a lot. Life is too short to not try new fruit. Still, I can’t get strawberries out here as good as the ones in California, and I miss the Frog Hollow peaches. But we make the best of what we’ve got and delight in the fact we’ve actually have a bona fide taqueria in the form of La Mexicana.

    The carnitas torta with extra jalapenos is my personal favorite.

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