Thursday, October 13, 2005

Aha- The Real Jujube!

Those snack foods that I posted about yesterday are actually not called Ede as I thought, but are officially called "Ide" or "Hide", pronounced 'ee-da' and according to my Albanian dictionary they are 'the common jujube'! The latin botanical name is Zizyphus jujuba. I always thought a jubube was a squishy fruit flavoured gelatin candy, but who knew? Apparently it is high in vitamin C and has lots of medicinal uses, including being used as a tea for sore throats. It's also used a blood cleanser, a nutrient tonic, and In combination with Ginseng, Jujube nourishes the spirit, acting to soothe irritability and mild emotional instability. The first time I saw it I was sure it was a fresh date but it isn't, although it is also called the Chinese Date or Red Date. It is an interesting discovery for me!

Here are some recipes I found:

Jujube Cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups dried, minced jujube
1 cup water Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool
2 cups wheat flour
1 teaspoonful soda
1/2 teaspoonful salt Sift these together then add to the above mixture. Bake at 325° F

Candied Jujubes
Wash about 3 pounds dried jujubes; drain and prick each several times with a fork. In a kettle bring to a boil 5 cups water, 5-1/2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Add the jujubes and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill overnight.
The next day bring syrup and jujubes to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon lift jujubes from syrup and place slightly apart on rimmed pans. Dry in oven, or in sun for about 2 to 3 days. Check fruit frequently and turn fruit occasionally until the jujubes are like the dates ones sees in the market.

Jujube Syrup
Boil syrup remaining from the Candied Jujubes, uncovered, until reduced to about 2 cups. Use over pancakes and waffles. Store in the refrigerator.

Other uses: Substitute the dried jujube wherever recipes call for raisins or dates. Dried jujubes are a wonderful snack that can be prepared without the use of any preservative as is so commonly needed for other dried fruits.

1 comment:

christina said...

How interesting! I just looked this up in German and it's also referred to as the Chinese date or more commmonly the Brustbeere-'chest berry', with reference to the medicinal tea made from the dried fruit.
I've never seen this fruit before - I'm going to check at the Asian grocery next time I'm downtown and see if they have any.