Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jujube: The Apple Mini-Me

My mom has been giving me bags and bags of jujube from the supermarkets lately, as they are in season this month. When I first tried jujubes a few years ago, I took a look at the brown fruits and thought, is my mom trying to give me food poisoning by giving me over-ripened fruit? The fact is that these fruits start out green and then transition to spotted brown and then brownish red like this. The best time to eat jujubes is when they just turn this lovely brown color. After this, the fruits get wrinkly and not as crisp. Nevertheless, when I first gave C jujubes to try, his reaction was, "Ewwww, they're brown!" I guess he thought that I was trying to poison him too.

Jujubes are also called Chinese dates or red dates, or tao tau in Vietnamese, and are very high in Vitamin C. They definitely taste like an apple and have a core like an apple, but to me they are a little crispier than an apple.

Jujubes can be used in many dishes in various ways, although C and J both like to eat them as is. They are often candied and dried, but I'm planning on making some dessert with them sometime soon for the kids' snacks.