Buy, Store & Prepare
Buying and Storing
Picking can be a painful and tedious business because of the plant's spiky, spiny stems. Mechanized harvesting is a relatively recent development, not in common use in Ontario.
Gooseberries are best when bought close to the source to ensure freshness, so it's a good idea to know your supplier.
Look for berries that are firm and not wrinkled, clear and bright in colour.
They can be stored successfully, unwashed, dry and lightly covered, for several days in a refrigerator.
The larger, dark berries make excellent jellies.
They can be combined with horseradish to make a good sauce for smoked mackerel, or added to a bread stuffing for goose or any oily fish.
Gooseberries can substitute for tomatoes in osso bucco, the Milanese dish of braised veal shanks.
Small green berries are highly prized in England for their flavour in two-crust pies and boiled puddings.