Just under a light brown husk hides a super-charged, super fruit. Yellowish-orange in color, the gooseberry has a funny name -- however, it's becoming more and more popular.
"We'll actually bring it in and wait for orders," explains Justin Warren, with Coosemans Tampa, a fruit importer and distributor.
Gooseberries brought here to the Tampa Bay area are shipped from Colombia. Native to South America, the Cape Gooseberry is getting worldwide exposure, thanks to some health benefits.
"There are studies that show it can prevent cancer, and has anti-oxidants," explains Andres Galvis, president of Garden Herbs, a Colombian company that exports the berries Worldwide.
Galvis also says, "They have a very low glycemic index, which is the index that measures how quickly the body absorbs the blood sugar."
The health benefits come from not just the fruit; the seeds also appear to be good for you.
"The contents of the seeds are fats, but it's fat that has been studied to be a good fat that reduces the levels of bad cholesterol," notes Galvis.
Researchers are also studying whether gooseberry leaves have a chemotherapy-like effect. Historians say the leaves have been used as a diuretic and salve, as well as for asthma.
Gooseberries are available via special order at your favorite grocery store. You can also contact a distributor directly. About 20 berries come in a pint package; expect to pay about $4 per package.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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