Ripe culinary European Gooseberry fruits on a bush. Soft fruit variety Invictor, scientific name Ribes Uva-crispa.
Food - Drink
The Reason Gooseberries Were Banned In The US
If you live in the United States, you typically won’t find gooseberries lining the shelves of your local produce aisle, and you probably don’t know what a gooseberry tastes like or even looks like. In other countries, gooseberries can be found cooked into jellies, tarts, pies, and wine, but in the United States, they’re not as popular because they were illegal for decades.
The United States has a long history of banning food items from Scottish haggis to Kinder eggs and wormwood absinthe, but rather than health or safety concerns, gooseberries were outlawed for ecological reasons. In the early 20th century, gooseberries were federally banned in the United States because the plant was discovered to carry a harmful disease.
Gooseberries carried a disease called “white pine blister rust," which was deadly to white pine trees. Since many industries relied on white pine lumber, the United States outlawed the berries for decades until the ban was lifted in 1966; today, you can find the berries online or in Trader Joe’s unless you live in one of the few states that still ban the plant, like Maine.