The gooseberry is not a beautiful fruit. The berries are a translucent and bulging, with veins running from the top to the bottom. Raw gooseberries are a green grape-like colour, but without any of the sweetness associated with grapes. They're wincingly tart and acidic. Uncooked, gooseberries are a belly-acher of a fruit. But when cooked and sweetened a little, the taste is wonderfully tangy - with a rhubarb-like sharpness, and dry, grapey flavours.
Gooseberry season is quite short, and is dependent on sunny weather - the berries are often at their best just before strawberries reach their peak. They aren't fun to pick. The plants have spiked barbs - so it's advisable to wear gardening gloves, or at the very least take good care to prevent too many injuries.
Gooseberries have a rich history in Britain. They were first cultivated in the sixteenth century, and were often used medicinally - plague sufferers were in fact advised to eat gooseberries. In culinary terms, gooseberries were a very popular ingredient throughout the Middle Ages too, particularly when turned into gooseberry wine or made into a type of verjuice to sharpen meat stews or marinades.
If it's a good season, then gooseberries are widely-available round June and July. Occasionally frozen gooseberries can be found in a farm shop, and tinned gooseberries in syrup are stocked in a few supermarkets.