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Know Your Components: Jujube


Native to China, jujube is a superfruit with a large number of dietary advantages. We discover its historical past, the way it’s cultivated, and methods cafés are utilizing it of their menus.


Often known as the Chinese language date or pink date, jujube has been a foundational a part of Japanese delicacies and therapeutic practices for 1000’s of years. Now jujube is starting to discover a place within the espresso world. At the moment, we discover all issues jujube: how and the place the fruit is cultivated, the way it’s historically consumed, and methods espresso retailers are making use of it on their menus.

Jujube still green on a tree branch.
Jujube cultivation will be traced again 1000’s of years. The fruit was talked about in China’s The Ebook of Songs, the nation’s earliest assortment of written poems. Photograph by Soyoung Han through Unsplash.

Jujube Cultivation

The jujube tree is likely one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruit timber. This report exhibits that domestication of the tree will be traced way back to 7,000 years in the past to the Neolithic Age. The fruit is talked about in a number of historical texts. Most notably, it’s talked about in The Ebook of Songs, China’s earliest assortment of poems, which incorporates works relationship from the eleventh to the seventh centuries B.C.E.

The jujube is native to China and stays generally grown there. It’s additionally cultivated in varied locations around the globe right now—together with Russia, Africa, Europe, the Center East, and the U.S. The jujube tree wants full solar, and does finest in heat, dry climates. Nevertheless, it may well additionally survive in winter temperatures as little as -20 levels Fahrenheit. The jujube harvesting season varies from location to location. The fruits sometimes ripen all through July and August and are harvested from late summer season to early autumn.

Jujube in a bowl and on a plate.
Jujube is thought for its well being advantages, and is commonly consumed as a tea with different components like ginger or ginseng. Photograph sourced through Pixabay.

Well being Advantages, Religious Which means, and Conventional Consumption

For hundreds of years, jujube has been an vital a part of Chinese language herbalism, revered by many for its dietary worth and therapeutic advantages. The superfruit is wealthy in potassium and vitamin C. In response to registered dietician Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, it’s additionally an excellent supply of phenolic compounds, that are potent antioxidants that assist combat the results of free radicals all through the physique. Thus, the fruit helps fight irritation within the physique, promotes coronary heart, liver, and pores and skin well being, and boosts cognitive operate, amongst different advantages.

A jujube latte.
Jujube lattes, out there scorching or iced, at Los Angeles’ Cafe de Mama. Photograph courtesy of Cafe de Mama.

In response to Chinese language conventional drugs, jujube helps generate Qi (life power vitality). It’s traditionally believed to represent wealth, abundance, and fertility. You may eat the fruit recent or dried and use it to make tea. Individuals typically use it together with different herbs, like ginseng or huang qi (astragalus).

Jujube in Tea and Espresso

Whereas jujube is often consumed in tea (cue the Korean drink daechu-cha), we’re seeing it pop up in varied cafés across the globe. However the fruit remains to be considerably uncommon within the espresso world. Some examples of jujube at cafés are Indonesian Djournal Espresso’s iced jujube macchiato and Los Angeles-based Cafe de Mama’s jujube latte. The candy, tart, and honey-like taste of jujube pairs completely with milk-based drinks. It provides a contact of fruity but earthy taste to every espresso beverage.

Two iced jujube macchiatos (milk floats on top).
Iced jujube macchiatos at Indonesia’s Djournal Espresso. Photograph courtesy of Djournal Espresso.

Jujube has quite a lot of well being advantages and a wealthy historical past that stretches again 1000’s of years. This ingredient can deliver immense worth to each house recipes and café drinks.

Wish to strive it for your self? You’ll find recent jujube at your native Asian markets, or purchase it dried on-line!


Emily Pleasure Meneses (she/they) is a author and musician based mostly in Los Angeles. Her hobbies embody foraging, cortados, classic synths, and connecting together with her Filipino roots by means of music, artwork, meals, and beverage.


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