The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat goji berries. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What goji berries etiquette is

Goji etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat goji berries. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve goji berries to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat goji berries at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat goji berries

What you should know about goji berries

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are small red or orange berries that grow on shrubs in China, Mongolia, and the Himalayas.

Goji berries are small and oblong-shaped, with a chewy texture and a slightly sweet, tangy taste. They have a bright orange-red color and are usually sold dried.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat goji berries

1) How to store goji berries

It is best to store goji berries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They can be stored in the pantry for up to a year, in the fridge for up to six months, and in the freezer for up to a year. To store them in the pantry, place them in an airtight container. To store them in the fridge or freezer, place them in a freezer bag or airtight container.

Store cooked goji berries in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

2) How to clean goji berries

To clean goji berries, rinse them under cold water and remove any stems or leaves. There are no major risks associated with cleaning goji berries.

Goji berries that have turned bad will have a sour or moldy smell and a mushy texture.

3) How to prepare & cook goji berries

Goji berries can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare goji berries for cooking, rinse them under cold water and remove any stems or leaves. Common ways to cook goji berries include adding them to oatmeal, smoothies, or stir-fries. No special utensils or appliances are required.

Goji berries are often used in desserts, such as cakes, muffins, and puddings. They are also common in herbal teas and tonics.

You can add goji berries to salads and sandwiches. You can also make them into juice, smoothies, jam, or preserves. Goji berries are suitable for guests who are on a vegan, keto, or paleo diet.

4) How to serve & present goji berries

Goji berries are appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve them for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack. They are appropriate as a side dish, main course, appetizer, or dessert.

It is best to serve goji berries at room temperature or slightly chilled. Presented them in a bowl or on a plate. No special serving tools are required.

You can serve goji berries accompanied by nuts, seeds, or dried fruits. The best seasonings include cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

5) Food and wine to pair goji berries with

Goji berries pair well with fruits such as apples, oranges, and strawberries. They also go well with vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. It is best to avoid pairing goji berries with bitter vegetables such as radicchio or bitter melon.

You can pair goji berries with cheese and dairy, such as yogurt and cottage cheese. Soft cheeses such as goat cheese and feta are valid pairing options too.

Goji berries can pair with poultry, pork, and beef. They do not pair well with fish.

The flavor of goji berries pairs well with red wines such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. They also pair well with white wines such as chardonnay and pinot grigio. Rosé, sparkling wine, dessert wine, beer, and spirits can also pair well with goji berries.

6) How to eat goji berries

It is polite to eat goji berries with your fingers or a fork. The entire goji berry can be eaten, including the peel.

Goji etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common goji berries etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Serving goji berries past their expiration date.
  • 8/10. Not properly cleaning goji berries before serving.
  • 7/10. Not respecting guests’ dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • 6/10. Not using the appropriate utensils for eating goji berries.

Additional information for properly serving goji berries

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

Goji berries contain around 100-130 calories per 28-gram serving (depending on the brand), which is equivalent to approximately 370-460 calories per 100 grams. A single goji berry contains around 1-2 calories.

How to buy the best goji berries

A crucial factor in goji berries etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Goji berries are available all year round, but their peak season is from July to October.

Choose the best

Goji berries can be found in a variety of forms in commerce, including fresh, dried, frozen, canned, and as juice or powder.

The most popular varieties of goji berries in commerce include the Chinese goji berry (also known as Lycium barbarum) and the Tibetan goji berry (also known as Lycium chinense). The Chinese goji berry is considered the most prized due to its larger size, sweeter taste, and higher nutritional content.

When buying goji berries, look for plump, firm berries with a bright red color. Avoid berries that are discolored, shriveled, or have moldy spots. It is also recommended to buy organic goji berries to avoid exposure to harmful pesticides.

Alternatives to goji berries

Some common alternatives to goji berries include other dried berries such as cranberries, blueberries, or raisins, as well as other superfoods like acai berries or chia seeds.