Time to talk about one of my all-time favorite and more expensive trees, the Jujube fruit, also known as the Chinese Date tree.
The Jujube fruit is one of those fruits that not a whole lot of westerners know about, but they should! I love learning about new and exotic fruits. I first heard about these in 2017 and am glad that I did. It is another amazing fruit tree that grows well in places like Phoenix.
In this article, you will learn all bout the jujube fruit or Chinese date, where it comes from and grows, what the nutritional benefits are, how to eat it, and what it tastes like. Let’s get started!
Where does the Jujube fruit or Chinese date come from and where does it grow?
The Ziziphus jujuba, more commonly called the Jujube, Chinese date, red date, or Chinese jujube, is said to have originated in South Asia particularly China or between Lebanon, northern India, and China, hence the name Chinese date. There are quite a few cultivars on estimate puts it at over 400 over the past several thousand years.
Yes, this fruit has been around for a very long time. They are commonly cultivated in Beijing and other varieties are spread throughout Asia and Africa. The jujube fruit is also cultivated in Madagascar, parts of South-Eastern Europe, Bulgaria.
These are not to be confused with the related Indian jujube. It is also cultivated in parts of California. However, home gardeners can grow it in Arizona, Texas, and most southern States. They are drought tolerant and fairly easy to manage and grow.
Above is a picture of my Jujube fruit tree that I used to have growing in a pot on my patio in Phoenix. After my parents moved to Arizona, I planted it in their backyard where it is doing very well.
The more common varieties are the Li, Lang, Sherwood, So, Shui Men, GA 8dd, and the Silverhill. At my local nursery that specializes in exotics I normally only see the Li and Lang varieties of trees for sale. And they are normally around $60 to $80 for a pretty small sapling.
What are the nutritional benefits for the Chinese Date?
The jujube fruit is loaded with nutritional benefits, some of those include the following:
- May improve sleep
- May decrease anxiety
- Low in calories
- Rich in fiber
- 1g of protein for every three fruit
- High in vitamin C
- Moderate amount of potassium
- Rich in antioxidants
- May boost immunity
Because of the high fiber and low calories, this makes an excellent snack throughout the day. For more health information about this amazing fruit, visit healthline.com.
How to eat Jujube fruit?
One thing I find pretty amazing about the Jujube fruit is that you can eat it at different stages of ripeness. You can eat them when they are green. You can eat them with they are yellow/pale. And most commonly you can eat them when they are dark red and shriveled.
You can pop the whole thing in your mouth and chew, but be careful there is a pit inside. Or just take small bites out of it and eat around the pit.
When they are green they will be crunchy like an apple. When they are red and shriveled they will be chewier like a date.
You can eat them fresh or they are also commonly candied. Other uses include putting it in a tea and used in other recipes, like cakes, marmalades, and juices.
There are several uses for this amazing fruit, and they vary depending on the region of the world.
If you would like to try some Jujube fruit, most likely here in the United States you can find them at your local Asian/International market. When I have seen them, they were the dried red kind, not the fresh ones.
Also, I want to point out, you do not remove the skin, you eat it.
What does Jujube fruit or Chinese dates taste like?
Now I bet you are wondering what they taste like? They taste a little different depending on what stage you eat them at. The green/yellow ones are crisp like an apple and mildly sweet sometimes tart with an apple flavor.
The red dried ones are much sweeter, and taste kind of like dates. They are chewy with a bit of a spongelike texture as well and have a syrupy flavor to them but not quite like the caramel flavor of dates.
I hope you liked learning about this amazing Jujube Fruit or Chinese Date. More westerners need to know about this awesome fruit.
Drop a comment down below and let me know if you have ever tried them. Enjoy!
Watch the video I made about the Jujube fruit!
Here are other recipes and articles you may find interesting:
Acerola Cherry or Barbados Cherry
No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake With Kit Kats
Santa Claus Melon aka Piel de Sapo
I just heard about the and how they help you sleep… I ordered a tea someone recommended and it did make me sleepy, calm and relaxed … however the tea was very expensive 7 teabags for $24 yikes!! I would love to:
1. Know where to get them I live in SF Bay Area
2. How do I make a tea out of them??
Look forward to your feedback
Hi! You will need to find a specialty nursery that sells them. A Google Search around your area might work. Check out this article on how to grow them in the bay area https://homeguides.sfgate.com/cultivate-jujube-20427.html. By the way I grew up in San Jose! As far as the jujube tea goes, you might try this recipe https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/daechu-saenggangcha
I have 2 big jujube trees and some smaller once growing fast. I live in the middle of nowhere, in the cork oak tree forest in Cadiz province, Spain. They call those fruits here: fruta de azufaifo. I love them! My dog, my chicken, horses, donkeys, goats, everybody loves them. They are very healthy and delicious and an excellent food source. Yes, they taste like apple but there is a pinch of mandarin taste in there. When I wander the woods with my dog, I take a bunch with me as a snack and leave the seeds. Who knows, there will be many jujube trees growing here!
Take care, stay healthy!
That is awesome!
Where to buy around DURBAN
You will have to look online, I have no idea, I don’t live there.
We have hundreds of Manzanita (jujube) trees on our property. My sister and I enjoy making empanadas, jam, cakes, and pastries with the fruit. We simply substitute jujubes in any recipe that uses apples. The trees are all blooming right now. We are hoping for a good yield this year. We live in South Texas and they are usually ready to pick the last week of July. The trees have been on the property for decades.
Hi there, Barbara! That is awesome!
Dates are pretty expensive here in our country.. this is actually one of the best when you are trying to loose some weight..
I live in Virginia and found them at Charlottesville Oriental… they have EVERYTHING..
I had never heard about Jujube fruits. I would definitely like to taste it. It looks so fresh and tasty.
I hope you get to try them someday. 🙂
Thanks for sharing something new. I had not even heard about this fruit. I like the fact that you can eat it at different stages of ripeness – green, yellow and brown.
You are welcome!
I love how many benefits the jujube fruit has! I see it in so many of my skin products that I love.
So awesome, right?
Oh another wild fruit. I have never seen a Jujube fruit.. The first pic though strangely reminds me of those glossy christmas ornament hehe.. But now that you mentioned that it tastes more like apple than plums… I remember having this so-called “Mansanitas fruit” when we were kids.. Mansanitas is a term for mini apple but i remember consuming the green color and there’s some sourness to it too but they indeed tastes like apple
Glad you liked learning about the Jujube fruit!
This is new to me and I haven’t tried before. I like the way you describe the taste of each fruit.
Thank you! 🙂
I have heard of this fruit but I didn’t know you could eat it when it was green or when it was brown. I probably would like it better when it was green (like an apple). Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome! 🙂
I love how you bring exotic foods to the fore! Totally digging the jujube.
I love how you bring to light some of the most exotic food items to light with your articles! Love this!
I actually love the jujube. I haven’t even started to put it into my hot green tea mixture.
I have never had one of these fruits before, even when we were traveling. It would be interesting to see if Ic an find it.
Definitely try them when you get the chance 🙂
Such an interesting and informational post. Now surfing the internet if I can procure these amazing fruit :))
Thanks! Glad you found the information helpful. 🙂
You’re right, I’ve heard the name Jujube before, but didn’t know anything about it. I think the name actually rings a bell because it’s the name of a character in my son’s favorite book and has nothing to do with the fruit. I’d love to try one of these one day.
I hope you get to try them sometime!
I didn’t know this wasn’t common in Western cultures but it makes sense now since I don’t see it in a lot of recipes but it’s in lots of Asian desserts! I actually didn’t know all this info about the fruit though! Thanks!
You are welcome!
Very interesting. I always enjoy your articles. I wish my market carried these so I could taste them. They look delicious!
Thank you! 🙂
My neighbor has one of these trees but I never knew what it was! Now I’m going to have to ask to try some of their Chinese dates. 🙂 Thanks for such an informative article!
That is awesome, Samantha! Definitely try them sometime if you can. And thank you! 🙂