Gooseberries are not widely commercially available, so I had never actually tried one. Last week, however, when I saw a post on the local Garden Share website boasting free gooseberries, I jumped at the opportunity. For those of you, like me, who have never eaten a gooseberry, I would describe their flavor as somewhere between a raspberry and a sour grape. Their bushes are quite thorny, and they range in ripeness from green to a deep purple (though there are other varieties that remain green even when ripe). After picking a nice sized bag’s worth of the gooseberries, my friend and I set about making gooseberry jam. Now I am being kind when I say that the process of prepping the gooseberries (removing the stem and flower end of each) is laborious, to say the least. The first batch, we did just that. Painstakingly removing each end by hand. The second batch we wondered if there weren’t an easier way. So, as an experiment, we put the berries through the fine blade of a food mill, which removed all of the ends, skins, and seeds for us. Much easier! We combined five and a half cups of prepared fruit, one fourth of a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (to really accentuate their tart flavor), seven cups of sugar, and one package of powdered fruit pectin. I wasn’t sure what to expect, having never had gooseberries let alone gooseberry jam, but this jam is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. It is tart, and sweet, and almost floral (in that raspberry sort of way). It is really very good. I mean, come on, the color alone is worth making it. So, if you ever happen upon some fresh gooseberries, I encourage you to take the time to whip up some of this incredible jam. It is so worth it. Enjoy!