Jujubes (Chinese "Date")
Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 11:07AM
Gary Leavitt

Jujube is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5 to 10 meters, usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2 to 7-cm wide and 1 to 3 cm broad, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5 mm wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5 to 3 cm deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.

Medicinal Use

The fruits are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress, and traditionally for their antifungal, antibacterial, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and Antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties.

Culinary Use

The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruits are often eaten as a snack, or with tea. They are available in either red or black (called hóng zǎo or hēi zǎo, respectively, in Chinese), the latter being smoked to enhance their flavor. In China and Korea, a sweetened tea syrup containing Jujube fruits is available in glass jars, and canned Jujube tea or Jujube tea in the form of teabags is also available. Although not widely available, Jujube juice and Jujube vinegar (called 枣醋 or 红枣醋 in Chinese) are also produced; they are used for making pickles in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Other Uses

Article originally appeared on Growing for the future! (http://deluzfarms.com/).
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