Agrastai is a type of Lithuanian gooseberry most commonly consumed in East European countries of Poland and Ukraine. It is similar to the other gooseberry varieties available in other parts of the world. It is characterized by a greenish yellow color and sweet-sour taste. Due to its tartness, it is popularly used for preparing jams and jellies. Other popular recipes include recipes for preparing cakes, strudels, Kuchen, tarts, etc.
Culinary Uses of Lithuanian Gooseberry
Agrastai, due to its rich flavors and tartness, is widely used as part of other recipes rather than eaten raw. The sweet yet sour flavor of these fruits make them ideal candidates for preparing jams, jellies, marmalades, and preserves. They are also used in a variety of baked dishes and desserts. Cakes, strudels, Kuchen, and tarts are some of the popular agrastai recipes. They may also be served raw as a part of salad or fruit punch.
Nutritive Value of Agrastai
These fruits are a rich source of Vitamins like Vitamin A and B complex and calcium. It is popularly used as a health food in Polish and Ukrainian communities. There is a popular saying in Lithuania that means, if children are given 3 bowls of agrastai daily grow up to be healthy adults.
Buying and Storage Tips for Agrastai
Fresh fruits are in season from mid July to mid August. However, the fruits can be preserved in form of jams, jellies or other condiments.
Agrastai are also known as Northern grapes due to their resemblance to the grapes from cooler areas of Northern Europe.