Does anyone like Goji berries?

I tasted a few Goji berries last year, and they were insipid. One of the few things I literally spat out. I haven’t read of anyone growing goji because they are tasty, only for the health benefits. Does anyone actually like them?

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Mine last yr were spit out bad. Maybe they are better dried. The thing does grow like a weed. Too bad it tastes like one.

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Glad I’m not the only one. I have a high tolerance for weird tasting foods, but those were just terrible.

I like them. I grow them. I dehydrate them before I eat them. I wouldn’t advice eating them otherwise as they have tannins or such that irritate my mouth. I find them worth while as they are little care but do take more space for amount of fruit you get. I eat plenty of not so healthy things so the nutritional aspects are important to me.

We grow them and the fruit tastes better as the plants mature. Couldnt stand them the first year. Now 3 years into it they are pretty ok.

My wife likes them. She usually has them dried from Trader Joes or similar.

Thank you. I had exactly the same question. I have spit them out to and no one ever mentions them tasting good. On year 2-3 for my plant outside, will see if it gets better though.

The “Goji” flavored chocolates candies are a lie. If anyone else tried them. Those chocolate balls, with Pom’ and Acai flavored to.

Although they grow like weeds for some, I have had trouble growing them. They grew slowly in pots and when I put them in the ground I found that the voles like to eat their roots. The voles also like the leaves. As an experiment I baited a victor trap with a goji leaf and the next day there was a vole in the trap.
The few berries I’ve gotten the bugs have eaten. I did taste one berry and it tasted OK. The variety is Crimson Star. I purchased a bag of dried gojis and my wife and I liked them. With some luck my plants will do better this year and I’ll have more experience withe eating them.

Goji berry is not really a “berry”. It is grown in remote western regions in China. The fruits are dried and used as nutrition and medical use.

So you can’t blame the plant and the fruits if you do not use it as what it is for. Goji is not a berry and does not taste like any of the berries in the traditional sense.

Redsun, I have plenty of colleagues who grew up in the Pearl River valley eating fresh Goji berries.

Everyone else, please understand that 3 or more species of plants are sold in the U.S. as Goji Berry. One is the horrific California Boxthorn. The species of interest is Lycium barbarum. I grow it and formerly sold it. No one ever objected to the taste of the berries. However, many people commented on how prolific it was and its invasive tendency by seedlings and root suckers.


I can’t comment on fresh Goji since I’ve not tasted the fresh ones. Chinese people traditionally use the dry fruits as medicine, or mix with tea. I’ve tasted the dry ones. It is somehow sweet, but has some special flavor.

The cultivar naming is very confusing. In Europe, they call them “LifeBerry” or the like. I stopped spending the time to chase the names.

I have two small plants in the pots. They just put out leaves and the leaves and growth habit are very similar to the invasive shrubs I have in my wooded area. I do not know the shrub names, but I believe they put on some showy berries and birds spread the seeds. I believe Goji would be a relative to the wild ones we have.

This is not correct. My colleagues from China - and my former employee beg to differ with you. In season they are eaten fresh. Out of season they are used dry. In traditional Chinese thinking every food is a medicine - a point lost on western minds.


Huh? I’ve been there and I’ve asked. They do not east fresh berries because the taste is not good to eat fresh. They would rather eat strawberry than fresh goji…

You said “In traditional Chinese thinking every food is a medicine - a point lost on western minds.” This is clearly wrong. Goji is commonly seen in Chinese medicine/drug store. But you do not see dry apple or apricot in medicine shop.

Depends where you’ve been. China is a huge country. The taste of a “fresh” avocado from a grocery store in Billings Montana during the winter is very different than a grocery store avocado in San Diego during the winter. Goji berry is a vigorous evergreen plant in the Pearl River environs and can’t survive the winters in the north.

I figure yo do not know much about Goji.

I’ve posted several pictures of Goji planting at the old GW. Goji has two main families, one is the traditional Goji and the other is Tibetan Goji. The traditional Goji grows in China Xinjiang, the far remote western Muslim region. Tibetan goji of course grows natively in China Tibet.

Both regions are VERY cold. So I do not understand your statement that “Goji berry is a vigorous evergreen plant in the Pearl River environs and can’t survive the winters in the north.” So I do not know what “north” you were referring that can be colder than Tibet.

Here we talk about Goji, nothing to do with avacado.

The other “berry” some folks are promoting is Goumi “berry”. Goumi is a Japanese name, but it is a Chinese plant, very similar to Goji, but is even more a “medicine” instead of “berry”. Even Chinese people do not eat Goumi as foot, but use it as “medicine”, not even nutrition supplement.

Anyhow, in Chinese supermarket, you’ll see often dried Goji is sold in the same section with Ginseng and Royal jelly (honey). Not in the same section with dried jujube… So even Chinese people consider Goji is a nutrition product, or health supplement, not a “food”…

Flattery will get you everywhere with me :smiley:

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Here are some photos I posted before on GW for the Goji planting:

The westerners are not me :smile: I think that is Tibetan region…

You are referring to Lycium chinense? Most people consider its fresh fruits insipid compared to Lycium barbarum.

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All the scientific names are just too heavy for the simple minded (me). The Chinese growers do not know and do not care. When the plants come to US, then come to me, the identity is probably totally lost. Same thing with jujube.

I believe the commercial (traditional) variety in China is called “Crimson Star” since that is what promoted by some nurseries. Then some made a good story of the “Phoenix Tears” which we do not know if that story is true.

Both are " Lycium barbarum"

Proven Winners has trademarked and are selling sweet lifeberry as a fresh eating goji.

This year it should be in all Home Depot stores.