Darlington, Durham ; also, on old buildings arid church-towers, whi-ther if has probably been transplanted by birds; - This useful bush flowers in April, and bears fruit in June or July, which, however, does not acquire its natural vinous flavour in this climate, till August of September.
Although gooseberries are generally eateh, or employed for culinary purposes, before they arrive perfect maturity, yet being one of tie most saccharine productions We possess; they might with more advantage be converted into wine. As each pound of the juice expressed from ripe berries requires only one ounce of soft soft
(whereas the ripest currants require double that quantity) to induce the vinous fermentation, a very excellent and wholesome domestic wine may be made at a trifling cxpence. After standing several years in bottles well corked, it becomes equal in quality to muscadel, or other sweet Italian wines. If the flower-buds of this shrub be added to a cask of any other flavourless wine, Bryant asserts (in his 1st volume of "Nutritive Plants," p.245, German edition) that they impart to it the taste of genuine muscadine.
Wild gooseberries, however, are of a very inferior size to those cul-tivated in a rich garden soil, especially when improved by inoculation, or engrafting ; in which state they frequently attain an uncommon size.
There is another species of this shrub growing wild about woods and hedges, in several places in Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, and the Isle of Wight. We allude to the Smooth Gooseberry, or Riles uva-crispa, L. which can with difficulty be distinguished from the preceding species, either by the flower scales, or even by the smoothness of its berries. Mr. Robson assured Dr. Withering, that the seeds from the same plant will producebothroughand smooth gooseberries. The last-mentioned species, however, flowers somewhat later, thrives in almost every soil, and does not attain the size of the rough gooseberry : its yellow berries are transparent, juicy, and contain a great number of .seeds.
Beside these, we met with another Linnaean species, or perhaps a variety of the former, called the Red Gooseberry, or Ribes recli-vatuvi, which grows wild in Ger-many, etc. has somewhat broader leaves than those before described, and produces a red or dark-purple fruit of a very sweet flavour. It thrives remarkably in a fat, light, and sandy clay : we therefore conclude that its berry would be eminently adapted to the preparation of domestic wines.
All the different gooseberries are wholesome fruit, but should not be eaten before they are perfectly ripe ; nor is it proper to swallow their stones along with the juice; but the skin may, with probable advantage, be used by those who are accustomed to take large quantities at one time ; in order to prevent flatulency. It is, however, founded on erroneous notions of their chemical properties, either to boil the unripe berries for sauces, or to convert them into domestic wines, which, though more cooling and refreshing, do not possess the delicate flavour, and rich saccharine quality, inherent only in ripe fruit.
Gooseberry. - The husks of this fruit, when the juice is pressed for making wine, are usually thrown away : it appears, how ever, that they may with advantage be employed in distillation, and af-ford an agreeable spirit, resembling Brandy. It has indeed been ascertained by experience, that such liquor, after having been kept a few months, was little inferior, in point of strength or flavour, to the best French Coniac.