The older I get, the more I’m noticing that foods I always thought of as ordinary are becoming hot fads.
I first noticed this with ginseng. At first it was just a root that my mother used to force me to drink in a tea form when I had a cold. Now it seems like it’s in every health drink on the store shelves!
And then green and white tea. The Chinese have drunken tea for centuries. To be honest I don’t even like the taste of Jasmine – I prefer Pu-Erh or Chrysanthemum tea. But if you go looking for bottled iced tea, you can have your choice of green, white, and every flavour mix that you can think of.
The most recent one trend that I’ve noticed has been the wolfberry (pronounced in Cantonese as “gay-jee”). You might know it better as the goji berry, the miraculous anti-oxidant that will cure all. There is advertising for the juice everywhere, and last week I even noticed someone eating a bag of dried berries like they were raisins.
You can use the berries in teas, but my family has always used the dried berries in herbal soups. Most Chinese herbal soups taste horrible and you should run from them at all cost. But I have always enjoyed soups with wolfberries in them, and in the past have actually requested that more of them were added to the soup during the cooking process. Continue reading