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13 Facts About Ecuador’s Golden Berry: Andean Uvilla Fruit

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In this post, you’ll learn about the delicious golden berry (uvilla fruit) originally found in Peru and Ecuador. Now, you can find golden berries grown in countries around the world.

golden berry
While the uvilla fruit is known by many names (including ground cherry, Cape gooseberry, and uchuva) for this post I’m going to use golden berry – the most common name in North America where the majority of our readers live.

Benefits of Eating Golden Berries (Subtitled in English)

physalis peruviana

13 Facts About Golden Berry: Uvilla Fruit 

Here are 13 facts about Ecuador’s golden berry:

  1. Goldenberries come wrapped in a paper lantern and are about the size of a marble (1-2 cm wide).
  2. Goldenberries are indigenous to the Andes Mountains (western South America), and are currently grown in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
  3. It has since traveled to Australia, New Zealand, India (known as ras bhari), Thailand and Egypt.
  4. Golden berries have been cultivated in England since the late 1700’s and in South Africa since roughly the 1950’s. Some sources claim that the popular name “Cape Gooseberry” has its origins in the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) however golden berries didn’t appear in any publications earlier than 1950.
  5. The name Cape Gooseberry, rather than being a geographical feature, most likely refers to the paper wrapper that surrounds the berry like a cape. The name is most common in South Africa, UK, Australia and New Zealeand.
  6. In French, the golden berry is known as amour en cage (love in a cage), referring to it’s paper wrapper.
  7. uvilla fruitIn Latin, golden berry is known as Physalis peruviana. As a result, the fresh fruit is known simply as physalis in Britain, while the dried berry is sold as goldenberry.
  8. Uvilla is a Spanish word that means “little grape”. It has been used to describe many different plants. In Ecuador and Peru, uvilla refers to the golden berry.
  9. Uvilla is pronounced oo-vee-ya
  10. In Colombia and Costa Rica, the golden berry is also known as uchuva.
  11. Other names for the golden berry include: physalis, Cape gooseberry, Pichuberry (named after Machu Picchu in Peru), Incan Golden Berries, Aztec berry, ground cherry and poha.
  12. Golden berries are not gooseberries (as the name Cape gooseberry suggests) but are actually closely related to the tomatillo and the Chinese lantern. It is more distantly related to tomatoes, potato, eggplant and other members of the nightshade family.
  13. Golden berries are considered a superfood, being low in calories and with moderate levels of vitamins and minerals. They are listed as being high in antioxidants, polyphenols and carotenoids. Many sources list golden berries as beneficial for treating weight loss, inflammation, diabetes, liver and kidney health and improving the immune system.

Dried golden berries are available on Amazon.

Eating golden berries is nearly as good as taking a multivitamin – maybe even better. One serving of dried golden berries provides an astonishing 45% of your daily value of vitamin A, as well as vitamins C, B1, B2, and B6. The same single serving includes a 6% daily serving of iron. ~ 22daysnutrituion.com
 
First, it is a mild diuretic that helps flush water and toxins out of the body. Second, just one serving (3.5 oz) of golden berries contain a whopping 21 grams of fiber. That’s 84% of your daily recommended dose. ~ imlakeshorganics.com

dried golden berry
In Ecuador, these are easily found at both open markets and grocery stores. In many parts of the world, if you can’t find them fresh, you can find dried uvilla fruit options.

Because of their sweet/ tart flavor, they go exceptionally well with chocolate. In the following video, we taste test golden berry chocolate by República del Cacao, a premium chocolate maker in Ecuador.

Golden Berry (Uvilla) and Chocolate Tasting

Ecuador Uvilla Plantation

4 Golden Berry Recipes

I haven’t tried any of these – yet. But I found them as a I researched this post and wanted to include them. Let me know if you try them – or if you have another recipe to share.

  1. Golden Berry Superfood Granola via avocadopesto.com
  2. Strawberry Salad with Goldenberry Vinaigrette via thebikinichef.com
  3. Golden Berry Fudge via sunfood.com
  4. Golden Berry Granola Bars via fitmittenkitchen.com

Your Turn

Have a golden berry fact to share? Have you had fresh golden berries? Join me below!

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