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Apple Store: 1920s

Apple Store: 1920s

Circa 1920s New Zealand. "Greengrocery, probably Taranaki region. Chinese shopkeeper with baskets of apples and boxes of peaches, cape gooseberries and other fruits." Glass negative by John Reginald Wall. View full size.


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Not all gooseberries the same

Just to be clear, the "gooseberries" referred to in the text picture are "CAPE gooseberries". These are a husked berry fruit, resembling and in the same family (Physallis) as a tomatillo. In the picture, the cape gooseberries are front and center, below the peaches.

Cape gooseberries have nothing to do with the little berry fruits on the prickly woody bushes of the genus Ribes that Americans (and much more so Europeans) call a gooseberry. Gooseberries are indeed much underappreciated in the USA, most because it was (and still is in some places) illegal to plant them (and currants) in many areas for many decades because plants of the Ribes genus can be a co-host for white pine blister rust, a nasty fungal disease that kills pine trees. If you can plant them where you live, you should, as they are most tasty.

And as Peter notes, "Chinese goosberries" are an older name for kiwis. They aren't related to either Physallis or Ribes either. Gooseberry is just a cool fruit name that everybody likes using.

Orderly arrangements!

Close inspection shows a wonderfully deft touch displaying all that produce and other goods. Look at the lemons all lined up for inspection.

Very nicely done.

No pre-packing here

and I bet the customer gets to select his own fruit.

The Genius Bar

is understaffed!

I've always said

"People in America just don't eat enough gooseberries."

What's missing

One fruit conspicuous by its absence is New Zealand's most famous fruit, that of course being the kiwi fruit. At the time they would have been called Chinese gooseberries, the kiwi name not having become common until the 1960's.

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