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Captivator gooseberries have a round to teardrop like shape and a smooth and shiny skin. Approximately one inch in diameter the Captivator produces slightly larger fruits than other gooseberry types. As Captivator gooseberries mature their semi-translucent skin turns from green to a pink/dark red hue. Their inner flesh has a jelly-like consistency offering a sweet flavor and lingering tart notes. Captivator gooseberries grow both in clusters and as individual fruits on large, bush-like plants.
Captivator gooseberries are avaliable in the mid-summer months.
The Captivator gooseberry is a hybrid variety botanically classified as Ribes uva-crispa ‘Captivator’. Gooseberries are divided into two different categories, American and European. The Captivator is an American/European hybrid variety bred specifically to be cold hardy, disease resistant, and a producer of large, flavorful fruits. A nearly thornless variety the Captivator gooseberry is known for its sweet fruit and is thought to be one of the finest dessert gooseberries on the market.
Captivator gooseberries offer vitamin C, antioxidants, and anthocyanins.
Captivator gooseberries can be used in both raw and cooked applications. Their naturally sweet flavor makes them ideal as a snacking fruit or added to green and fruit salads. Add whole or halved Captivator gooseberries to fruit tarts or use as an edible garnish atop cakes, crème brule, and ice cream. Bake Captivator gooseberries into clafoutis, muffins, pastries, or upside-down cakes. Cook Captivator gooseberries down to make jams, jellies, sauces, and pie fillings. For best quality Captivator gooseberries should be consumed within a few days of harvest, to extend their shelf life they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Gooseberries such as the Captivator are delicate and require care when harvesting. Mechanical gooseberry and currant harvesting machines are made in Europe and can be imported to North America though most medium to small scale production is still done today by hand harvesting, a method which adds to the cost of the gooseberry at the marketplace.
The Captivator gooseberry was developed in Canada at the Central Experiment Farm in Ottawa. Bred from a cross of Ribes hirtellum (American) and Ribes uva-crispa (European) gooseberries it was first introduced in 1949. American varieties are typically smaller in size and less flavorful than European types they do however exhibit superior disease resistance. In recent years new varieties such as the Captivator have been developed which combine the best qualities of both European and American types creating an improved potential for commercially successful gooseberry production. Captivator gooseberry plants prefer sun exposure but are not tolerant of extreme heat and as a result, will grow best in areas that experience mild summers. Though they are cold hardy an effort should be made to plant in the spring after the last hard frost of the season has occurred.
Recipes that include Captivator Gooseberries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The British Larder||Gooseberry and Bay Leaf Jam|