Common Alquejenje and Black widow spider


Both fruits of the family of the Solanáceas, they belong to the genre Physalis, which includes more than hundred species, some of which are not eatable but they are used by decorative ends. The most outstanding commercial varieties are the common alquejenje (P. alkekengi) or alquequenje and the black widow spider (P. cainito P. Peruviana, P. Edulis). To the black widow spider also it is known as alquejenje yellow or grape thorn of Cape of Good Hope.


The alquejenje is an original fruit of the warm areas of South America. It interfered in Europe from the discovery of America, where nearly 45 species exist. About the middle of the XVIth century this plant was much used and appreciated by decorative ends in the houses. Today it is cultivated especially in South Africa, Colombia, Peru and also of Spain, in the province of Huelva.

More outstanding varieties of the black widow spider:

Goldenberry: gilding and of sweet flavor.

Dwarf yellow Alquejenje: native of North America. The fruit is a berry yellow and rounded, 1,9 centimeters in diameter and sweet flavor but lightly acidic. Crude oil is used, but especially boiled in stews, sauces and for the conserves making.

Tomatillo: native of Mexico, also is cultivated in other areas. It is a big fruit of color purple and covered with a yellowish skin. It is very sticky and insipid to consume fresh air fresh air, by what it is used in the making of sauces and conserves.


The epoch most adapted to acquire this fruit is at the end of the summer and in autumn, since these fruits mature from August until November.


It forms: globular berry which aspect is reminded to that of the cherry or tomatoes by cherry surrounded with a covering named chalice; as a species of not eatable membranous bladder. The berry contains in his interior numerous seeds.

Size and weight: the fruit is small, spherical and smooth, according to the variety, with a diameter from 1,5 to 3,5 centimeters. His covering presents marked ribs and has a length of approximately 4 centimeters.

Color: of red or orange color when it matures, according to the variety.

Flavor: agreeable and a little acid and sweet; his flavor resembles a miscellany of pineapple and passion fruit.


The firm copies must be chosen, of uniform coloration and exempt from blows or bruises. Generally they are commercialized wrapped in his membrane, for what is convenient to verify the ripeness grade eliminating the covering of one of the fruits. It is necessary to pay attention to the sheen of the berry inside the bundle at the moment of acquiring it, since it is an indicative of good quality.

At home, it is convenient to keep them in the icebox to a temperature not lower than 0-4ºC.


The majority component of the common alquejenje is the water. It contributes an important carbohydrates quantity but very low of fats and proteins, therefore his caloric value is not high.

It is rich in vitamins, especially provitamina A and also it contains, in minor proportion, vitamin C and of the group B. The provitamina A or beta - caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system. The vitamin C intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red globules and favors the absorption of the iron of the food and the resistance to the infections. Both vitamins, they fulfill also an antirust function. Likewise it contains organic acids (citric and málico), pectin (soluble fibre) and, in minor quantity, tannins that award a certain astringency.

It is a sweet, fruit refreshing and easy to eat, rich in substances of antirust action, I motivate by which his consumption is recommended, bearing in mind also his nourishing properties, to the whole population: children and young people, adults, sportsmen, pregnant women or nursing mothers and major persons.

For his provitamina contribution A is a suitable fruit for those who have a major risk of suffering lacks of the above mentioned vitamin: persons who must carry out a diet low in fat and therefore with a scarce vitamin content A or for persons whose nourishing needs are increased. Some of these situations are: periods of growth, pregnancy and breast feeding. Likewise, the tobacco, the abuse of the alcohol, the employment of certain medicines, the stress and situations of immunodeficiency, the intense physical activity, the cancer and the AIDS, and the chronic inflammatory illnesses diminish the use and produce bad nutrients absorption. The vitamin A and the vitamin C they possess antirust action and help to reduce the risk of multiple illnesses, between them, cardiovascular, the degenerative ones and even the cancer.

For his contribution of citric acid, of action disinfectant and alcalinizadora of the urine, his consumption also helps to reduce the risk of formation of some kidney stones (principally the compounds of salt of uric acid) and turns out to be beneficial in case of hiperuricemia or drop (it facilitates the elimination of the excess of uric acid).

His pectin contribution awards his laxative properties, what makes it especially recommended for situations like the constipation.

Finally, for his composition, it possesses a soft effect diuretic and depurative, by what his consumption is recommended in case of retention of liquids and of cystitis (infections of urine).

It is a fruit that one usually harvests when it is mature. It is convenient to preserve the berries inside his bundle up to his consumption, since this protects them. Formerly, with the sheets of the alquejenje there was obtained a wine that was used like laxative and diuretic.


To obtain his consumption in the ideal ripeness state the pulp has to be completely yellow or orange. Only one eats the berry in strict sense. The fresh berries, they can take such a which or like ingredient of diverse salads. Nevertheless, the principal application of this fruit is in the making of jams, compotes and products of confectioner's. Also it is possible to use it in the preparation of sauces, stews, ice creams, cakes, jams and juices. Also, it combines very well with chocolate and, for his original bundle, it turns out to be excellent like decorative element for all kinds of plates.




- 16 alquejenjes
- 4 cups of sugary warm chocolate
- lemon juice
- 6 soup spoonfuls of oil and salt

To prepare the warm chocolate as his habitual procedure (well with products that are added to the warm milk or melting chocolate fondant). To open the covering of the alquejenjes with the precaution of not breaking them. To separate the covering backwards and to serve in a plate accompanied by the chocolate cups. The fruit of the bundle takes and it gets soaked in the chocolate.

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