In the world of superfoods, Goji berries are still relatively new. So if you have been asking questions like; what do goji berries taste like? You are certainly not alone. After all, if you’re thinking about trying these healthy berries, then you don’t want any nasty surprises.
Here we’ll answer the question on how goji berries taste, as well as reveal recipes with goji berries that you can easily whip up.
Table of Contents
What do goji berry taste like? – the sweet, sour and bitter.
In appearance and shape goji berries, also known as wolf berries are somewhat reminiscent of an elongated red raisin. However, a goji berry smell and taste is something completely different. Instead of smelling sweet, it has an earthier scent, almost herbal. As for the taste, opinions on this vary widely.
Some people say the taste of goji berries is similar to that of an unripe tomato, others say it taste somewhere between a cranberry and a cherry. However, the overriding opinion is that goji berries definitely have some fruity notes.
The fruity taste of goji berries means that it pairs well with yogurt, muesli and numerous other recipes. It’s because of its ability to integrate with so many things that goji berries have become so popular. goji berries are even good in salads and soups, adding a different dimension to the dish without adding too much sweetness. In fact in China, their country of origin, Goji berries are far more likely to be consumed in soups and savory foods than with sweeter dishes.
Taste of goji berries, Why region matters
If you purchase some goji berries and end up wondering; why do my goji berries taste bitter? Don’t panic. While some goji berry batches can be a little bitter, this may be due to the sulphites surrounding them – a type of preservative. In these circumstances, the best course of action is to give them a good soak to mellow out the flavor.
However, if the goji berry is overly bitter, no method of preparation will help. Variety, cultivation soil, sufficient time to ripe, will ultimately determine the flavour and quality of the goji berries you buy.
For instance, the taste will vary depending on the area it’s been grown in. It is said that the sweetest goji berries are harvested in the Ningxia Valley in China, the original cultivation area.
Other areas that produce sweeter tasting goji berries are Spain, and southern and south-eastern Europe. But while the berries in these regions are sweeter due to getting sufficient sunlight, the best tasting goji berries are still only found in the Ningxia Valley.
So, just like any berry, a sweeter and more pleasant goji taste is synonymous with sunlight. If you were to grow goji berries in the typical Western climate (colder and rainier) chances are you would produce something rather bland and slightly acidic tasting.
What do fresh goji berries taste like
Needless to say, fresh goji berries are far juicier than the dried. As berries from the Nightshade family, they do have hints of a tomato like flavor about them, but are certainly sweeter.
On the scale of 1 being not sweet at all and 10 being the sweetest, fresh goji berries are around a 4. Just like the dried versions, they can be added to cereals and smoothies. But if you have made the effort to buy fresh, we suggest enjoying them just as they are.
It is advised with some fresh goji berries that you should not eat the seeds as these can sometimes give off a more bitter flavor. But again, this advice seems to apply for goji berries grown outside China.
How do you eat goji berries?
Two simple and practical ways to eat goji berries would be in some natural yogurt. Simply add a sprinkle of goji berries with a handful of oat flakes and a few blueberries. This rich recipe is highly recommended by nutritionists when you want to quench your appetite.
To incorporate them into a salad, they can be combined with fresh vegetables such as arugula, tomato, corn, red onion, chickpeas and avocado. Since goji berries are usually sold dry, they can be eaten directly from the container.
Another way to eat them is to soak them in water and let them re-hydrate and plump up, in this form they can be eaten alone or used in some healthy muffins. Goji berries also work great in homemade granola bars, you could even add them to pancake batter. The ways to use goji berries in your cooking really are endless.
In China, where they are very much revered for their health giving properties, goji berries are often used in teas. To consume goji berries this way, just add a handful to a cup of hot water and let it sit there and hydrate for 5 to 10 minutes. Once they have plumped up nicely, drink the tea and eat the hydrated berries. This is a great way to start the day, as gojis are packed with antioxidants.