Red Dates, commonly called jujube (sometimes jujuba), and also Chinese date, is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae).
The freshly harvested, as well as the candied dried fruit, are often eaten as a snack, or with coffee. Smoked jujubes are consumed in Vietnam and are referred to as black jujubes. Both China and Korea produce a sweetened tea syrup containing jujube fruit in glass jars, and canned jujube tea or jujube tea in the form of teabags. To a lesser extent, jujube fruit is made into juice and jujube vinegar (called 枣醋 or 红枣醋 in Chinese). They are used for making pickles (কুলের আচার) in west Bengal and Bangladesh. In China, a wine made from jujube fruit is called hong zao jiu (红枣酒).
Sometimes pieces of jujube fruit are preserved by storing them in a jar filled with baijiu (Chinese liquor), which allows them to be kept fresh for a long time, especially through the winter. Such jujubes are called jiu zao (酒枣; literally “alcohol jujube”). The fruit is also a significant ingredient in a wide variety of Chinese delicacies.
- In Vietnam and Taiwan, fully mature, nearly ripe fruit is harvested and sold on the local markets and also exported to Southeast Asian countries. The dried fruit is used in desserts in China and Vietnam, such as ching bo leung, a cold beverage that includes the dried jujube, longan, fresh seaweed, barley, and lotus seeds.
- In Korea, jujubes are called daechu (대추) and are used in daechucha teas and samgyetang.
- In Croatia, especially Dalmatia, jujubes are used in marmalade, juices, and rakija (fruit brandy).
On his visit to Medina, the 19th-century English explorer, Sir Richard Burton, observed that the local variety of jujube fruit was widely eaten. He describes its taste as “like a bad plum, an unrepentant cherry and an insipid apple.” He gives the local names for three varieties as “Hindi (Indian), Baladi (native), Tamri (date-like).”
- In Palestine a hundred years ago, a close variety was common in the Jordan valley and around Jerusalem. The Bedouin valued the fruit, calling it nabk. It could be dried and kept for winter or made into a paste which was used as bread.
- In Persian cuisine, the dried drupes are known as annab, while in neighbouring Azerbaijan, it is commonly eaten as a snack, and is known as innab. Confusion in the common name apparently is widespread. The innab is Z. jujuba: the local name ber is not used for innab. Rather, ber is used for three other cultivated or wild species, e.g., Z. spina-christi, Z. mauritiana, and Z. nummularia in Pakistan and parts of India and is eaten both fresh and dried. The Arabic name sidr is used for Ziziphus species other than Z. jujuba.
- Traditionally in India, the fruit is dried in the sun and the hard nuts are removed. Then, it is pounded with tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery. In some parts of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, fresh whole ripe fruit is crushed with the above ingredients and dried under the sun to make cakes called ilanthai vadai or regi vadiyalu (Telugu). It is also commonly consumed as a snack.
- In Northern and Northeastern India the fruit is eaten fresh with salt and chilli flakes and also preserved as candy, jam or pickle with oil and spices.
- In Madagascar, jujube fruit is eaten fresh or dried. People also use it to make jam. A jujube honey is produced in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
- Italy has an alcoholic syrup called brodo di giuggiole.
- In Senegal Jujube is called Sii dem and the fruit is used as snack. The fruit is turned into dried paste used by school kids.
- The commercial jujube candy popular in movie theatres originally contained jujube juice but now uses other flavourings.
- The fruit and its seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress, and traditionally for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory purposes and sedation, antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties. It is among the fruits used in Kampo.
- Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste.
- In Japan, the natsume has given its name to a style of tea caddy used in the Japanese tea ceremony, due to the similar shape. Its hard, oily wood was, along with pear, used for woodcuts to print the world’s first books, starting in the 8th century and continuing through the 19th in China and neighbouring countries. As many as 2000 copies could be produced from one jujube woodcut.
Jujubes in Australia
In Western Australia, Chinese jujubes are grown in the Perth Hills, the northern Rangelands, the South West and Great Southern regions. Jujubes are also grown in Victoria, South Australia New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Nutrition Facts - Dried Jujube
- Servings Per Container1
- Serving Size100 g (3.5 oz)
- Amount per serving
- Energy287 kJ
- Standard DV% Daily Value*
- Total Fat0.5 g78 g0.64%
- Cholesterol0 mg300 mg0%
- Sodium5 mg2300 mg0.22%
- Total Carbohydrate72.52 g275 g26.37%
- Total Sugars47.53 g
- Protein4.72 g50 g9.44%
- Calcium63 mg1300 mg4.85%
- Iron5.09 mg18 mg28.28%
- Potassium217 mg4700 mg4.62%
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)217.6 mg90 mg241.78%
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.047 mg1.2 mg3.92%
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.053 mg1.3 mg4.08%
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine)0 mcg2.4 mcg0%
- Phosphorus68 mg700 mg9.71%
- Zinc0.39 mg11 mg3.55%
- Selenium0 mcg55 mcg0%
- Copper0.233 mg0.9 mg25.89%
- Manganese32 mg2.3 mg1391.3%