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After Mayinglong Hemorrhoid Ointment and Laoganma chili sauce, yet another Chinese specialty has gone viral outside of China - gouqi, the fruit of Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense, two closely related species of boxthorn.
In China, gouqi is largely popular among middle-aged and elderly people. They usually drink water with pieces of the fruit in it or eat it directly as a kind of snack. Few young people in China, if they are not particularly concerned with their health, develop a taste for it.
However, many young people in Western countries have fallen in love with the fruit. They call it goji berry. According to an article from bbcgoodfood.com, goji berries are being increasingly hailed as a superfood in the UK because of their nutritional value.
Many consumers are convinced that goji berries, packed with various vitamins, iron, selenium and other antioxidants, can benefit one's health in many ways, such as boosting immunity brain activity and preventing chronic diseases.
On amazon.com, there are multiple brands of goji berries for sale. Several of these brands have received around 2,000 customer reviews, most which have given the fruit a full 5-star rating.
According to customer reviews, a number of customers like the berries because they enjoy the fruit\'s woody, raisiny taste and chewy consistency. Its bright reddish-orange color is another plus for some, especially those who like to add them to trail mix, because it can brighten up an otherwise drab looking snack.
Falling for goji berries, some people consider it a crucial ingredient in their daily meals. They enjoy eating it in almost everything, such as salads, cereals or sandwiches. Many bloggers not only eat the fruit every day, but have also invented a few new ways to enjoy them, which they share with others in videos.
Among all the recipes for goji berries, goji cake is one of the top choices for many. To prepare it, place dough in a pan and flatten it; put the pan in the fridge; blend goji berries, cashews and coconut milk in a blender; pour the mixture onto the dough on the pan, and freeze for two hours before slicing and enjoying the cake.
Goji cookies are also popular, as they are seen as an ideal breakfast choice by many. Making them is similar to goji cake, except the dough and the mixture need to be baked for around 20 minutes until golden brown before being served.
For some bloggers looking to lose weight, they sometimes make themselves broccoli juice with some fruit on top. Of course, the fruit includes goji berries.
Besides cakes and cookies, there are many other ways to enjoy the berries.
A book on amazon.com, which claims to be the ultimate recipe guide for goji berries, teaches people how to cook them in 30 different ways. Looking at the reviews for the book, those who have purchased the book have found it helpful.
In addition to culinary purposes, some bloggers use goji berries for beauty purposes by blending gel, powder and the berries into a goji berry mask that they say can revitalize the skin. Also, there are goji berry-related health care products being sold in many countries.
While goji berries may not be getting much love from young people in their home country, they seem to have found a warm welcome overseas. It seems more natural products from China are about to sweep Western markets.