I have a question about goldenberries (aka Cape Gooseberry, Physalis, ground cherry.) Is it better to keep goldenberry in the fridge or not and for how many days maximum? My berries rotted in 3 days in fridge.
I used to grow them years ago so I could have some summer fruit in an area with little fruit other than strawberries (that I also grew) and crab apples in an empty yard. I had hoped to grow enough to make jam and pies but we ended up eating the fresh. The nearest grocery store with fresh produce was over 1 1/2 hours away.
Since you grow them, you'll know they're similar to tiny tomatoes but their skin is very thin. I've found that with soft fruits (vegetables which are technically fruit too), the thinner their skin, the less keeping quality they have. I left our ground cherries on a large shallow bowl on the kitchen counter and never refrigerated them. They were never heaped in a pile the way grapes are naturally since they were soft.
I can't see why they couldn't be refrigerated for a few days (2 or 3 only). But I can see a couple of drawbacks that might increase the chances of them rotting though.
Did you wash them first? Generally softer fruits/vegetables shouldn't be washed until you're ready to eat them. Most already have some natural waxes or such (?) on their skin to protect from fungi. Mind you, I always wash grapes I buy from the store to remove dirt and possible/likely pesticides. But they're thoroughly rinsed after and then laid on a towel for a couple of hours til completely dry. They last much longer that way for me.
Did you put them in a container where they'd be 4 or more layers thick? The weight of the top layers could easily have broken the skin or crushed the bottom layers. Even a small break or bruise would be enough to start decay, especially if any already had a small unnoticed break.
If your ground cherries are yielding lots, faster than you can eat them, you could try drying them instead. There are videos on YouTube showing how to as well as multiple blogs and different sites explainin. I had no idea ground cherries were now so popular. I grew them simply to have fresh fruit.
If you mean the dry Goldberries that you get in packages (read later on for information about fresh Cape Gooseberry ground cherries), I got some of those a few times, and they kept dry, after opening, for a very long time (I just ate a few a day or so until they were gone, and kept the bag zipped up). I never attempted to refrigerate them. So, they lasted much longer than three days. In this case, it would appear that they store longer when dry.
However, if you're talking about Cape Gooseberries you've grown yourself, and that haven't been dried, they tend to keep well while still in the husks, fresh, unrefrigerated (for at least a couple months). If they're like tomatillos, I imagine they could keep a long time in the refrigerator (not dried) without their husks—probably a comparable length of time to unrefrigerated Cape Gooseberries (I could be wrong). However, as they're much smaller than tomatillos, I would take this idea with a grain of salt. Most people tend to think tomatillos should always be stored in the husk, but I've had them store for several months, after husked and washed, in the refrigerator. (Tomatillos I grew myself.)
If you peel the husks and keep them unrefrigerated, they'll dry up really fast, just like other ground cherries do (and I imagine they'll stay good, although hard, for quite some time). I'm not sure what the company does to keep them from going hard when dry, but they must do something. I've grown the Giant Cape Gooseberry ground cherry from Baker Creek (so, that's what my experience is with). It's giant as in a giant plant (not as in giant fruit).
For fresh fruit (not dried), you may be interested to know that ground cherries can be frozen, and they taste the same frozen (except that they're cold, which can be pleasant when it's hot). I haven't tried this with the Cape Gooseberry, but I have with other ground cherries.
Three days sounds like a very short time for any form of Cape Gooseberry to spoil, but I haven't tried refrigerating the whole, husked or unhusked, or even dried fruits. Maybe they're trying to dry out, but the moisture in the refrigerator combines poorly with that.
If you bought them fresh and they were pre-husked, that may be the problem. I would just freeze those (and eat them frozen) if you want them to last a long time.
Anyway, my advice for the dried berries is not to refrigerate them. My advice for the fresh berries is not to refrigerate them; but, either freeze them (husked in a bag), or keep fresh ones unrefrigerated in the husks (they're not as pleasant when you husk them and they dry out, as they get really small and hard).