Every time I go home, there seems to be something new planted in my mom's garden. On this last trip home, I was outside in the yard when something small and red caught my eye. There were little red things blooming on a small green, leafy plant. I asked my mom what it was and she told me it was a goji berry plant.
I've never eaten fresh goji berries (go ji zi), let alone seen a live plant. I forgot to take pictures of my mom's plant. You can see pictures here. The only ones I've had are dried ones. Goji berries are supposed to have a lot of health benefits and so you will often see them in chinese soups like chicken soup or white fungus soup. I've never been a big fan of the taste of dried goji berries. When cooked in soup they are a bit mushy and have a very distinct herbal-like taste to it that you often find with other Chinese herbs.
My mom's plant is still quite small, so there were only two berries ready to be picked. They looked like tiny tomatoes. The fresh goji berry is actually sweet tasting. It was a bit like a sweeter version of a cherry tomato. I prefer the taste of fresh ones compared to the dried ones.
I've also seen dried goji berries at Costco that don't need to be cooked in soup, but are ready to eat like other dried fruit. They are coated with sugar and are fairly tasty.Yum