Cooking Techniques

Ground Cherries: An Introduction To A Husked Treat.

This delicate little gem has remained widely unknown with it’s many names and relatives. Notably the Chinese Lantern and Tomatillo are some of the better know species of the fruit that are wearing a Calyx, the correct name of the husk.
Upon further inspection of the fruit, I find beautiful flavors in the light nectar highlighting a sweet-honey freshness with remnants of a caramel undertone. The rich golden berries provide me an intriguing and mounting excitement as I continue to learn about the new super orbs, which come standard with their own cape.
The flavor is perfectly paired with both savory and sweet aspects, creating a lot of room for play. As I half one of the cherries, exposing the flesh, I find something similar to the inside of a baby tomato, perfectly plump and petit with tiny seeds.

As I taste and smell the Ground Cherries, ideas begin to formulate. The only idea with any weight, is a jam… it would most defiantly have to be rich, but not over powering. My goal during my first encounter with the new ingredient, is simplicity; I want to taste the Ground Cherry. The rest of the dish seemed to fall into place around the jam, and as I emerged, to photograph my dish, I realized that I had created a beautiful cheese course.

The Chesse was Les Freres, locally produced and crafted by The Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Characteristically, the cheese is a soft and creamy European styled cheese, with a rich rind with a fruity flavor profile, perfectly unobtrusive and not over powering. I made a jam consisting of the Ground Cherries, Muscat, Golden Raisins, honey, and pectin. It finished with a natural richness that allowed the brightness of the berries shine through.

Garnish consisted of a fresh baked brioche, toasted almonds, fresh Ground cherries (halved & made into a gastrique ), and a couple florets of savory.All in all, I was pleased with the results and the flavor combinations.

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