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GOLDENBERRY IN KENYA

In the highland areas of East Africa, the goldenberry (locally called “cape gooseberry”) is popular, especially among the urban population. The fruit is a common item in greengrocers' shops. It is also widely available packed in cans or as jam or preserves.

In the early 1980s, Kenya Orchards Limited (Mua Hills, Machako District) was canning 10–15,000 kg per year. Fruit was purchased from small producers in the immediate area. More fruit would have been processed had it been available. The cannery considered exporting but could not meet the local demand, which at that time was steadily increasing. In addition to pure preserves, the cannery produced tasty mixtures of goldenberry with mulberries, guavas, and peaches. The cannery was experimenting with canning goldenberry juice, but problems were encountered with brewing, precipitins, and separation after heating in the sterilization process.

Fruit could be held, if necessary, at ambient temperatures (in the 20°C range) for 3–7 days, if not too ripe.

The cannery was realizing a large profit—that is, the finished products were selling at 12 times the purchase price of the fruit.

Farmers in the area were giving little or no attention to the young plants once their seedlings or cuttings were established. However, in the higher, cooler areas near Nairobi, at least one large vegetable producer was growing a selection from South Africa under improved agronomic conditions. All fruit was sold at premium prices in the better greengrocers' shops. It was especially popular among the local Europeans and the large expatriate population, who consumed it both raw and stewed.

B. H. Waite

SPECIES INFORMATION

Botanical Name Physalis peruviana Linnaeus

Family Solanaceae (nightshade family)

Synonym Physalis edulis Sims

Common Names

Quechua: topotopo

Aymara: uchuba, cuchuva

Spanish: uvilla, capulí, uchuva (Colombia), aguaymanto, amor en bolsa, cereza del Perú, cuchuva, lengua de vaca, motojobobo embolsado, sacabuche, tomate silvestre, topotopo, yuyo de ojas

English: golden berry (South Africa, U.K.), cape gooseberry, giant



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