Guess what, of all things,  I found in the produce isle of the local health food store today?  FRESH goji berries.  Incredible!

Cute lil' goji berry stem...aww...

Cute lil’ goji berry…aww…

Goji berries, ubiquitous in the health food community, are normally found dried and available in most health food stores, thanks to David Wolfe’s laudable – and relentless – promotional efforts.  As Chinese health practitioners have known for over 2,000 years, they have purported health benefits above and beyond your average berry, hence their superfood status.

My understanding has been that they are supposedly so fragile that even in Asia they’re sold dried.  And that’s the only way I’ve ever had them or heard about them – until now!

JUICY!

Juicey!

Imagine my surprise then, while strolling along in the produce aisle, I spied this glowing little punnet of…what?  What could be such an incandescent red in the berry section? I mean, this color is much different than strawberries or raspberries or even cranberries. It turned out the tiny stash of 1/2 pint berry boxes contained FRESH ORGANIC GOJI BERRIES!  For $6.89!  Ouch.  But impossible to pass up, obviously.  I put them in my cart without a moment’s hesitation.  The only delay was over whether or not I should get TWO boxes, but I didn’t and a good thing too, as I will explain.

Out of focus but too cute!

Living in Hawaii, we are incredibly fortunate to have all sorts of unusual, exotic delights available to us, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this.  I have heard that people are planting the seeds though, so I shouldn’t be so surprised that someone already has enough of a crop to market them.  These are from an organic farm in Watsonville, California so you can request them from your produce manager.  Their season, according to my research, is July – October so there’s plenty of time still to place your order!

Totally plantable!

I am going to try to grow a bush or two – they get to be about 1 meter tall I’ve read.  We shall see.

Dried goji blossom found in the box!

Dried goji blossom found in the box!

I was eating from the box while writing this and discovered that these are potent little berries, and as it turned out, I doubt I could have finished two boxes before they turned.  They are really good, but seemed to definitely be medicinal in that I only felt like eating about two tablespoons and then felt like drinking a lot of water.

They have a very mild flavor – in the way blueberries are mild – and they are quite sweet in the same way watermelon is.  That’s sort of how it tastes – juicy and surprisingly reminiscent of watermelon, though not for any specific reason.  In conclusion, they are quite medicinal after all and also, in the way of berries everywhere, will not keep long, so if my body has had enough I suppose I’ll be drying the remainder, after all!  How  ironic, haha.  Or… at least the ones I don’t plant!

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