First, a huge thank-you (again) for taking the time and effort to send me a great selection of jujubes. As I told you, when I first got them we had lots of fun at work sampling them, but I wanted to go home and re-try them carefully. Here is what I decided.
SO everyone knows, I got to try honey jar, sugar cane, contorted, Li, chico, “vegas baby” (which i suspect is one Raf has developed?)
First, I was very relieved to find out that none of these were anything like the ones I took off the tree I found growing near my house, so I’m more confident than ever that the Korean owner of that tree grows those as medicinal and they are therefore not one of the good edible jujubes.
Second, I found the taste in general to be more apple-like than I expected. I haven’t often seen jujubes described as apple-like, but to me they are very much like a really sweet apple with a hint of raisin flavor. Thats not a perfect description by any means and I don’t want to suggest they are extremely similar to apples, but its a fairly good comparison I think.
Third, for all the discussion of the different varieties, I found all 6 of these to be quite similar. Raf, I hope you aren’t disappointed to hear me say that, and I readily admit that I don’t have a sophisticated pallet by any means. And certainly there were some discernable differences- its just that for me none of those differences were all that great. My least favorite was probably contorted or “Vegas Baby”. The VB were by far the smallest and also were a little softer- which may have just meant they were over-ripe. The small size and softer texture made them rate lower for me. The contorted were the least sweet of all of the 6 I got to try, and thats why I rate them a little lower. But once again, they were only slightly less sweet, so not a big difference.
My favorite was Honey Jar. It was, I felt, the sweetest and also had a little hint of something different that I liked. The other favorite was a big surprise based on what I’ve read about jujubes…it was LI!!! I’ve seen a lot of people say that LI is one of the least favorites. I must confess that a big part of LI’s attraction to me was its size. It was almost double and even triple the size of most of the others. That large size made it a lot more attractive to me. Even when considering taste, there is just something nice about being able to take big bites. But it wasn’t only the size. I found it to be one of the sweeter jujubes as well. But because it was at least equal in taste to most others, its large size led me to rank it near the top.
I’m pretty sure people (like you, Raf) are going to disagree with a lot of my remarks. All I can say is as a person who never before tasted a sweet jujube, these were my opinions and were arrived at with careful serious evaluation.
Anyway, thank-you again, @jujubemulberry for your generosity and for taking the time and effort to send me such a large sample of jujubes! THanks.