Tomatillo vs Cape Gooseberry: Difference and Comparison

Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry originate from the same plant species. They share a common genus. Cape Gooseberry is commonly known as ground cherry, and Tomatillo is commonly known as a husk tomato.

Cape Gooseberry has a scientific name, Physalis peruviana, and the scientific name for Tomatillo is Physalis ixocarpa. Tomatillo is a common ingredient in Mexican cooking.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tomatillo is a green tomato that belongs to the nightshade family, while Cape gooseberry is a fruit enclosed in a papery husk.
  2. Tomatillo is mainly used in Mexican cuisine to make salsa, while Cape gooseberry is commonly used in making jams and desserts.
  3. The taste of Tomatillo is tart, slightly sweet, and tangy, whereas Cape gooseberry has a sweet and tangy taste.

Tomatillo vs Cape Gooseberry

Tomatillos are a green tomato staple in Mexican cuisine and are also a good source of vitamin C and fibre. Cape Gooseberries are a bright orange or yellow fruit that is native to South America, have a sweet, tangy flavour and are a good source of vitamin C, iron, and antioxidants.

Tomatillo vs Cape Gooseberry

Tomatillo is a husk tomato. It is harvested when it turns green in color. It turns yellow-green or purple when it fully ripens. It is used in many foods, such as salsas and gazpacho. It is very commonly used in Mexican dishes. It grows like a plant. It grows to three to four feet in height.

Cape Gooseberry is a ground cherry. It grows on a plant that grows to two to three feet in height. It is harvested when it is fully ripe. It turns to gold or pale orange when it ripens. The scientific name for the plant is Physalis peruviana. It is eaten raw. It is extremely used in salads.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTomatilloCape Gooseberry
Other NameHusk TomatoGround Cherry
Scientific NamePhysalis ixocarpaPhysalis Peruviana
Height3 to 4 feet2 to 3 feet
Ripen colorYellow-green, purplegold, pale-orange
Harvest TimeTurns greenFull-grown
UsageSalsa, gazpachosalads

What is Tomatillo?

Tomatillo is used in Mexican dishes. It is also known as a husk tomato. It is spherical. This is a common ingredient used in Mexican dishes. It is eaten raw or cooked. It is added to several dishes. It is part of the staple diet in Mexico. It was first cultivated in Mexico.

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These plants can be found anywhere in America. They were more important than tomatoes. They were a big part of various cultures like the Maya and Aztecs. The scientific name of Tomatillo is Physalis, ixocarpa, which was given back in the eighteenth century.

Tomatillo is also known as Mexican green tomato or miltomate.

Tomatillo mostly grows in Hidalgo and Morelos, which is situated in Mexico. It is also found in Guatemala, where Tomatillo is called miltomate. Then it spread to the Bahamas, Florida, and Jamaica. The exportation of the Tomatillo started in the twentieth century.

It was exported to Australia, South Africa, Kenya, and India.

Tomatillo is grown in large spaces, especially in the outdoor fields. They are grown as a home-grown garden plant. There are smaller crops of Tomatillo in the United States. These plants are planted at different altitudes. The most common way of growing Tomatillos is by transplanting.

Transplants are grown in greenhouses or as beds. Transplants are hardened in the greenhouses so that they can be planted outdoors.


What is Cape Gooseberry?

Cape Gooseberry is also known as goldenberry. It is found in South America. It is grown in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. They are called Uchuva and Poha in these places. Back in time, it was grown in England and South Africa. The cultivation of the Cape gooseberry was first done in Inca.

During the eighteenth century, the cultivation of the Cape Gooseberry was done in England. During the nineteenth century, cultivation was started in South Africa. It became very popular in the twentieth century, due to which it spread across the world.

They were grown in Tropical regions and temperate regions.

The scientific name is Physalis peruviana. This name was given by Carl Linnaeus in 1763. The name cape points out to the calyx, which surrounds the fruit-like cape. This is a false etymology. Then the Cape Gooseberry was introduced in New Zealand, Pacific Islands, and Australia.

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The spread of Cape Gooseberry spread to different locations with different names.

People in Peru call it Aguaymanto, and People in Quechua call it Topotopo. Manipuri people call it Ningol Hei. It has a close resemblance to Tomatillo. It is annual in temperate locations. There is a calyx that encloses the berry.

The calyx protects the berry inside, and while eating the Cape Gooseberry, the calyx is inedible.

cape gooseberry

Main Differences Between Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry

  1. Tomatillo is also known as a husk tomato, while Cape gooseberry is known as ground cherry.
  2. The scientific name for Tomatillo is Physalis, ixocarpa but the scientific name for Cape Gooseberry is Physalis peruviana.
  3. Tomatillo grows up to 3 to 4 feet, but Cape Gooseberry grows up to 2 to 3 feet.
  4. Tomatillo turns yellow-green or purple when it ripens, but Cape gooseberry turns to gold or pale orange when it ripens.
  5. Tomatillo is harvested when it turns green, but Cape gooseberry can be harvested when it fully ripens.
  6. Tomatillo is used in salsas and gazpacho, but Cape Gooseberry is used raw in salads.
Difference Between Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry

Last Updated : 09 July, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Tomatillo vs Cape Gooseberry: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s fascinating how the Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry are both part of the nightshade family but have distinct flavors and uses in different cuisines.

  2. Tomatillos and Cape Gooseberries are not only delicious but also offer significant nutritional value. Tomatillos are a good source of vitamin C and fiber while Cape Gooseberries provide vitamin C, iron, and antioxidants.

    • Indeed, Davies Jim. It’s commendable how both ingredients contribute to both culinary diversity and nutritional benefit.

  3. The exportation of Tomatillo to various countries and its adaptability to different regions showcase its culinary significance on a global scale.

  4. The Cape Gooseberry has a sweet and tangy taste, while the Tomatillo offers a tart and slightly sweet flavor. Understanding these subtleties is essential for effective culinary application.

  5. It’s remarkable how the Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry are root vegetables with extensive cultural histories. Understanding their origins adds depth to their culinary applications.

    • Absolutely, Williams Jonathan. Their historical significance highlights the richness of culinary traditions associated with these ingredients.

  6. The growth and cultivation of Cape Gooseberries in various countries, from South America to New Zealand and Australia, demonstrate its adaptability and versatility in culinary practices.

  7. The introduction of Cape Gooseberry in multiple regions under different names highlights its diverse cultural reception across the world.

    • You’re absolutely right, Zmurphy. The varying names of Cape Gooseberry reflect its widespread cultural relevance and adoption.

  8. The Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry are also known as Husk Tomato and Ground Cherry respectively. They are indeed versatile ingredients with distinct flavors.

  9. The history and cultural significance of both Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry contribute to the richness of culinary traditions globally.

  10. The Cape Gooseberry is also called Physalis Peruviana while the Tomatillo’s scientific name is Physalis ixocarpa. They’re used in different cuisines and take their ripen color differently.

    • You’re right Peter32. The Tomatillo is also used in Mexican cuisine, while the Cape Gooseberry is commonly used for jams and desserts.


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