I remember two varieties of gooseberries from my childhood - one was about the size of regular playing marbles, bright green, smooth skin, soft flesh and incredibly sour, the other was bigger about the size of chestnut, not as sour, firm flesh, with stripes on the skin (like the picture here) and sort of dull sage green. I used to like the latter more.
The only form in which I have relished gooseberries is as a spicy Indian pickle. I've had some raw gooseberries straight off the tree spiced with some salt and chili powder when I was little. My mom used to brine and sun-dry the larger variety firm green mildly sour gooseberries that was abundant in summers.
For about two decades now I have not had gooseberries as it was not available in any of the stores near where I lived. Imagine my thrill when I spied boxes and boxes of crisp, bright green, tempting little gooseberries at New Seasons Market! I love shopping at the New Seasons, even if it is a bit pricey, as I love their philosophy and service (any store that says, "if you spill or drop or break something, oh well, accidents happens, we'll clean it up, you go on shopping", has my business).
These were not quite the same variety I remember from India - the flesh was not as firm and sour - must be a nicer hybrid... so, right away I got down and pickled a batch.
Recipe for this pickle is very simple: heat some oil, pop some mustard seeds, add the gooseberries and spices*, some brown sugar and some salt, cook a bit, adjust to taste, and can immediately; or, allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
*spices: I dry roasted and ground some fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies, coriander seeds, brown mustard seeds and khus-khus (white poppy seeds)