The early use of the European gooseberry was mostly as a base for sauces where its tartness offset the oiliness of meat and fish. But the gooseberry is not necessarily sour – picked mature it is sweet and juicy. It comes in yellow, green, red and white, and some are prickly, some are furry and some are smooth.
Gooseberries are today best known for their use in desserts such as Gooseberry Crumble and in some countries, like Portugal, gooseberries are appreciated as a beverage – mostly mixed with soda, water or milk. In Britain homemade gooseberry jam and pies are very popular.