I’ve eaten a dried fruit that someone bought at the store and said was labeled “red dates” that was, in fact, very date-like. “Red dates” are a kind of dried jujubes, right? But they’re nothing at all like what I get if I take a fresh eating jujube and dehydrate it. The “red dates” from the store are, as I remember, sticky and chewy like a real date. How would one grow and process jujubes to get something like those “red dates”?
You can fill a jar of dried Jujube fruits and add honey to fill the jar all the way to the top. In a month or so you will have this date like texture Jujube with honey sweet flavor to your Jujube fruits.
Thank you, Tony! I wonder what other fruits would be good dried and honeyed like that. Dried jujubes are plenty sweet enough already, but the texture of the “red dates” I had was definitely appealing (not that the texture of plain dried jujubes isn’t good, too.)
Locally, the Li cultivar does not need honey to improve the taste.
Tony and others, I’m wondering if there are other good ways to process dates besides drying and putting in honey for a month like you talked about. I’m interested in hearing about any different ways of using jujubes, anything besides simply eating fresh, that any of you recommend. I’m also curious how you all dry jujubes. I’ve only cut them in half, pitted them, and dehydrated them like that. Are there other good ways to dry them?
I had read about making jujube ice cream, and that’s one thing I’ve done and recommend. I didn’t make any this year as my Sherwood didn’t produce anything like it did last year, so I can’t remember exactly what I did, but I think I cooked the jujube pieces in butter in a sauce pan until they were soft, then pureed and made the ice cream. We make lots of different types of ice cream, and jujube was one of my children’s favorites. They might still even name it as one of their favorites. I think in the future I might try to find a way to force the cooked pulp through a strainer to remove the pieces of skin. I would definitely still make jujube ice cream regularly if I couldn’t remove the skins at all, but I think it would be better without.
Here is another way to dehydrate Jujube in the video below. I will try this method next fall.
I look forward to trying something like that now, too! Thanks for sharing. What do you think the brandy does for the finished product?
I think the brandy will enhance the flavor a bit but the alcohol would evaporated with heat but you can always add more.
The dried jujubes you buy are from varieties grown expressly for drying in China. I don’t think we have any of these varieties in the US. Lang is a drying variety but it’s definitely not one of the better ones. I was in Xian China in October and saw displays of dried jujubes in stores that had as many as 30 or 40 different premium brands. Prices ranged from cheap to quite expensive depending on the variety. Here are two mid range dried jujubes that I bought and they were excellent, much better than the dried jujubes that make their way to the US…
Those are the same size as the Li Jujubes grown in Central California and sold in farmer’s markets here (San Diego county).
Li is not a drying jujube. These are the largest drying jujubes I have seen. There are quite a few fresh eating jujubes that are larger than this. And these would have been even larger when fresh.
So what makes a “drying jujube” a drying jujube? I assume it mainly has to do with texture somehow. Does anyone on this list intentionally grow jujube varieties that you consider inferior fresh eating fruits and wouldn’t grow for fresh eating but that you prefer and grow specifically for drying?
they could all be dried, but some seem to be better eaten fresh, while the others are better eaten dried.
some are pretty good as both fresh and dried.
we actually enjoy dried li’s(very sweet!) but they are definitely better as fresh.
langs, polenski, dongzao, thornless, usually the pear shaped ones.
lang specifically tastes sooo much better when dried. It may be eaten fresh but you need to wait until it is extremely ripe.
this is also a personal preference for most people, and personally, i like sihong equally as fresh and as dried.
Drying jujubes are fruit that dry well - they don’t fall apart, get moldy, or become rock hard, and they also have good flavor and sweetness when dried. The Chinese have separated jujubes into fresh and dried categories for centuries. There are of course some fruits that are very good either way and at least one named variety, Globe, that is awful either way. Sihong to me is much better dried than fresh. Li is much better fresh than dried. Black Sea is very good either way.
that is so good to know, and in eager anticipation. Hopefully our blaclk sea gets bigger and bears more fruit next year
Something I had never seen before - stuffing dried jujubes with walnuts. I didn’t care for the combination but I imagine if you grew up eating them this way it might be pretty good because it’s so different -
thought i saw somewhere, that persians/arabs stuff nuts into dates(palm dates), so i guess this is a cross-cultural thing from the silk route. I guess if you don’t have chocolate-- walnuts and 'stachios in palm or chinese dates would be a good substitute.
Basically it seems to be a way to get more sugar into the diet. And walnuts are also a huge crop in that area so it solves two marketing issues.