Jujubes may not be well-known in current culture, but they were undoubtedly more familiar to our forefathers.
In fact, it is one of the oldest cultivated fruits, having been planted for the first time around 9000 BC. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve acquired a wide range of meanings and applications over time.
Originating from somewhere in the Middle East, Northern India and Southern China, Jujubes grow on a small shrubby tree that produces small yellow flowers that eventually give rise to the jujube fruit.
The fruits start out brilliant green when they sprout, but as they grow to their full size and shape – roughly the size and shape of a plum – they turn bluish-black and wrinkled, resembling a little date with skin that contracts around the huge kernel inside.
Jujubes are consumed both fresh and dried in India, Eastern Europe, and other parts of the world and are used to manufacture everything from tea to specific spices. According to old Chinese and Korean medicinal formulas, the fruit has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-stress properties.
There are many different types of Jujubes in the world; in this article, we will go through some of the names and appearances of these varieties.
Different varieties of Jujube
Li jujubes are a bigger type with a round to oval form and 3 to 5 centimetres diameter. The skin is firm, smooth, and thin, and it changes colour from green to yellow-green, red-brown, and mahogany as it matures. In their yellow-green stage, Li jujubes are delicious, and as the fruit matures, the skin can take on varied hues of green, yellow, and brown, depending on the degree of ripeness.
The flesh is crisp, gritty, light, and semi-aqueous, with an apple-like snap to it. In the heart of the pale green to white flesh, there is also a little bit. These jujubes have a high sugar content, which contributes to the fruit’s extremely sweet flavour and lesser levels of acidity, which produce faint acidic undertones.
When fresh, Li jujubes are known for their sweet crunch, and when dried, they have a date-like chew.
Ziziphus mauritiana, often known as Indian Jujube or Indian plum, is a fruit native to India, a tropical fruit tree species that includes Chinese dates, Chinese apples, and dunks. Their fruit comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Depending on the variety, it might be oval, obovate, oblong, or round, with a length of 1-2.5 in (2.5-6.25 cm). The flesh is fresh and white. This fruit is a bit juicy and has a lovely scent when slightly under-ripe. The skin of the fruit is smooth, glossy, and thin but firm.
The Indo-Malaysian region of South-East Asia is where the species is thought to have originated.
Ziziphus lotus is a tiny deciduous tree indigenous to the Mediterranean region, including Morocco’s Sahara and Somalia.
It’s one of numerous “jujube” species, and it’s linked to jujuba, the real Jujube. Ziziphus lotus grows to a height of 2–5 metres (6.6–16.4 feet), with 5 cm long lustrous green leaves. Their edible fruit is a globose dark yellow drupe with a diameter of 1–1.5 cm.
The fruits of the Chico Jujube Tree are spherical and resemble little apples! Fruits are delicious fresh or dried, and the texture is crisp and light.
This variety of Jujube is distinguished by its plump, rather than plum-like, shape. Chico jujubes are known for their sweet juices and rich, acidic flavors, and their spherical skin is packed with flavour.
This early-fruiting cultivar was developed at the Chico Institute in California.
Tiger tooth Jujube
The Tigertooth jujube appears like dates ripening on the tree because it is long and thin. For fresh eating or drying, harvest when the fruit is half green and half brown. One of the greatest dried jujube varieties. The rich, sweet maple syrup flavour is enhanced when the Jujube is dried.
GA 866 Jujube
The GA 866 Jujube was engineered particularly for its small size, as the fruit only grows to be about two inches long. Nonetheless, it has the same sweet, tart apple flavour as its more natural jujube siblings.
Mistol is a spiniferous tree native to the Gran Chaco region of South America, where it grows naturally (and in abundance). The word “mistol” comes from colonial-era Spanish, from the word “mixing” (mezcla); Mistol was thought to be a hybrid between species of the genus Schinopsis due to the likely hue of its wood to Spaniard colonists’ perception.
It blooms late in the spring, between October and December, and bears fruit between November and March. When ripe, the fruit is a reddish-hazel coloured edible drupe that is generally spherical, 1–5 cm long, sweet and sugary, and has a characteristic bitterness.
When fully ripe, it can be eaten raw or cooked. Arrope, made from the juice, pulp, and cane sugar of mistol fruit, is a well-known mistol fruit dish. For numerous indigenous tribes of South American Indians, the mistol was a staple (or possibly a must-have) food.
Shanxi Li Jujube
These sorts of jujubes are the largest of all – and arguably the most popular form of Jujube. They are a China-developed variety.
Because of their size, they’re ideal for individuals trying to squeeze as much jujube deliciousness as possible from a single fruit. And their distinct sweet and tangy flavour hits all the right notes.
Lang jujubes are a larger jujube variant with a small rounded shape and bulbous base that taper somewhat towards the stem end, averaging 3 to 5 centimetres in diameter. The skin is strong, smooth, and semi-thick, changing colour from green to yellow-green, red-brown, and mahogany as the fruit matures. Crispy, gritty, spongy, and slightly dry flesh.
When dried, Lang jujubes have a high sugar content, which contributes to the fruit’s sweet flavour and a subtle earthy, caramel-like flavour.
Originally from China, this ancient type is appreciated as an aesthetic cultivar due to its twisted branches and abundant fruit.
We hope this article helped you understand and recognise different types of Jujube fruits, and you start incorporating them into your diet!