Jujube goes by various names, including big date and dried date. It is known as a natural vitamin supplement and is the perfect ingredient for tonic food in fall and winter.
Jujube originated in areas of northern and southern China. Most jujubes produced in Taiwan were brought from China. In Taiwan, Gongguan Township in Miaoli County is the major production area and the center of jujube sales. The fruit has been cultivated in the town for about 120 years. The county's jujube producing area, which has expanded into Shihciang, Fuji and Guandong villages in Gongguan and Jhongping Village in Tonglou Township, has now become the largest in Taiwan.
The fruit is harvested from mid-July to late-August. During the early years of jujube plantation in Miaoli, the fruit was used in traditional Chinese medicine. Later on, some varieties were grown for making dried fruit and others for fresh eating.
Jujubes contain protein, sugar, organic acid, carotene, vitamins B, C and P, and small amounts of calcium and amino acid. Compared to other fruits, jujubes are high in vitamin C and P and protein. It is believed that eating jujube is good for the skin and the health. In Taiwan, there are well-known sayings about the health and beauty benefits of the fruit. They include, "eating jujubes three times a day keeps you looking young even at the age of 100, " and "jujube in rice congee is good for the skin." Because of the high nutritional value of the fruit, it has long been regarded as an excellent nutritional supplement.
The fruit is an oval shaped drupe with an edible pulp two to three centimeters thick. The mature fruit has a greenish-yellow skin with little reddish spots and the flesh is green with a crisp texture and sweet taste. The dried fruits are usually dark red, very sweet and fragrant. They are often used in traditional Chinese medicine and in tonic food.
Some simple tips ：
The jujubes should be fresh with red calyx and smooth, greenish-red skins. Do not pick those with green skins and big brown spots. As for the dried fruit, consumers are advised to buy those that are small and vividly red with smooth, thin skins. Be aware of a pungent odor that may be caused by residues of sulfur dioxide.
Fresh jujubes can be stored for up to a week. To keep the fruit crisp, it is recommended that they be refrigerated. The dried fruit, however, is easy to go bad and should be refrigerated and kept dry after opening.