30 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: Z Stands For: Ziziphus zizyphus

Ziziphus Zizyphus (also Ziziphus jujuba) is more commonly known as jujube, tsao, red date, or Chinese date. In Arabic, it is known as nabq, dum, tsal, sadr, zufzuuf, and sidr. Anab is the Persian word for it. In Tamil it is called "ilanthai pazham", "yelchi hannu" in Kannada, and "regi pandu" in Telugu. It is mostly used as traditional medicine, and for food.

The jujube is native to Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. It was first domesticated in 9000 BCE, on the Indian subcontinent, and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years; there are 400 different cultivars in China, and the fruit was even mentioned by Chinese poets in 600 BCE. It was originally brought to the USA in 1837, and the USDA imported the plant in 1908. It was also introduced to parts of Australia and Africa.

Jujubes are part of a family that includes around 55 genera and 900 species. Ziziphus zizyphus has thorny branches and grows to between 5-10 meters with green, ovate leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The flowers are small, only 5 mm (.2 inch), and they flower for several months. The fruit is drupe (a fruit where there's an outer covering over a hard core containing a seed) and varies in size depending on the kind of jujube. It's green and smooth when immature and reportedly tastes like an apple, and when mature it becomes dark and wrinkly. Tests have been done to show they have high amounts of vitamin C, A, and B2.

Jujubes are used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine (to alleviate stress, as an antifungal, antibacterial, to soothe sore throats, and so on), and their leaves have been found to have the ability to suppress taste. The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. There are red and black jujubes; black jujubes are smoked (as in cooked, not inhaled) to bring out their taste. There is jujube tea (which also comes in teabags), juice, vinegar, and wine.

In Korea they are used in tea and samgyetang (a sort of soup), and as snacks in Lebanon, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. In some places it is added with tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery and left to dry in the sun, and small dishes called "ilanthai vadai" are made out of the resulting dough. Cakes are made from the fruit in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.




So, for the inevitable question: have you ever eaten jujube, Ziziphus zizyphus, or one of its products? If not, would you try it?

-----The Golden Eagle


Lauracea said...

How many z's are in that title! Reckon that's a record. Yes I'd try a jub-thingie. Probably find out years later that I did myself insufferable harm, but I'd give it a go.
You should win a prize for all the z's - definitely :)

Melissa Bradley said...

That is a lot of Z's for sure. I always learn something when I come to your blog. Congrats on finishing and I am so glad we connected. Now if only I can finish slogging through the rest of my letters. Have a great weekend.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for this amazing plant and fruit!!! Wow!! I'd love to taste the cake and wine versions from this very versatile fruit!

Congratulations with finishing the A-Z challenge!!! Yay for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take care

RaShelle said...

I haven't ever eaten, but I'd try it. Sure. Great Z!

Kim said...

I love it! My DH read that word out of the COD over my shoulder this morning, as he tried to get me to come up with something more "interesting" than Zucchini. I think it is great that after never having heard it until today, I have now heard it and read about it (your post was much more interesting than the Dictionary definition I was read earlier). So glad to have found you through this challenge. Looking forward to more interesting reads.

Heather said...

I've never eaten it but I would definitely try it! It sounds good and I'm a bit of an adventurous eater, sometimes...

Josh Hoyt said...

It looks like it would be good. Great information as usual.

Pearson Report said...

Dear Golden Eagle,

Finding you was like finding a rare gem.
Each and every letter has been truly inspiring and educational.

Thank you!

This "Z" post was no exception - I was looking forward to seeing what you would select and you did not disappoint!

I have your site on my "reading list" and I will be back often to enjoy soaring with the Eagles!

Your perspective is truly fascinating and I feel quite privileged to live it vicariously through your posts.

Happy thoughts,

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Eagle, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Madeleine said...

Great Z post. I think I have heard of jujube but i don't think I have ever eaten or drunk anything with it in. I might be wrong though.
Congrats on getting through the whole alphabet with such great topics. :O)

Holly Ruggiero said...

I haven't tried them, but I remember hearing about them.

Congrats on finish the challenge.

Snakesmom said...

Congrats on completing the A-Z Challange!! :) I am glad I found you through this challenge and I am looking forward to reading many more great posts in the future.

laughingwolf said...

great post, ge :)

only had jujube candy, as far as i know...

thelmaz said...

Can't believe the Challenge is over. I visited all 1282 blogs, a challenge in itself. Today I posted the 26 I most enjoyed, including yours. Stop by www.widowsphere.blogspot.com and see.

sam said...

I don't think I have eaten any of these, but I would give them a go if I ever came across them one day. All looks rather nice.

The Words Crafter said...

Wow, this sounds like something I should find! Thanks for the info :)

Rebecca Dupree said...

Of course I would eat one! Yummy!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

What a fascinating fruit... I certainly would try it.

Theres just life said...

I have learned so much from this challenge. I think my head is going to explode. But I have enjoyed it.

Congratulations of finishing.

Pamela Jo

Anonymous said...

I have heard that this fruit is very good for you. Yes I would definately try it.

Congrats on finishing. I have learnt a lot. Quite impressive :) Well done.

Cindy said...

Happy Z day! I haven't tried jujube, not even the candy... but I would. I'm sure it's better then durien :)

Congrats making it through the challenge. I enjoy your posts a lot and will be seeing you around (because I'm following you of course)

Lisa said...

You made my best of A-Z list. Check out the post at the link below.

InspiredbyLisa – Best of the A-Z Challenge

N4M3L3SS said...

+1 from blog hop cool blog

Trisha said...

I love this plant's name! So amazing. hehe

The Golden Eagle said...

Lauracea: LOL. Well, it was supposed to be a "Z" post, after all . . .

I'd try one, too!

Well, glad you liked all the z's. ;)

Melissa: Thank you!

I'm glad I found you, too--this has been a great Challenge for meeting people!

I'm sure you'll get through them. :)

Old Kitty: They do sound interesting!

Thank you! :D

RaShelle: Me, too. :)


Kim: Thanks!

What a coincidence that he read the same word to you--LOL.

Hey, I think zucchini's interesting! It certainly doesn't taste bad, at any rate.

I'm glad I found you as well!

Heather: I like familiar food, most of the time, but I don't object to trying new things now and again. :D

Josh: Thanks! Hope you find it useful, should you ever find yourself eating Ziziphus zizyphus. ;)

Jenny: You're very welcome--I really enjoyed writing these posts and sharing what I found about the topics.

Thank you! I hope you continue to enjoy the posts to come. :)

Glad you enjoy it!

Elizabeth: We did! Hooray!

Thank you so much for awarding me! I'll be right on over.

(I'm going to have a lot of awards to acknowledge once this is over!)

Madeleine: Thank you!

Glad you liked the topics I posted about. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Holly: Thank you! :)

Snakesmom: Thank you! And welcome to The Eagle's Aerial Perspective.

I'm very glad I found you on the A-Z Challenge list of blogs. :)

Laughingwolf: Thanks!

I've never had anything jujube-wise, candy or the actual fruit . . .

Thelmaz: I can't believe it's over, either!

Wow. Kudos to you for making it through all those blogs!

Thank you! I'm honored to be part of the list, especially after all the blogs you visited during the month.

Sam: I would eat jujube, too, if I found it. :)

The Words Crafter: Anytime! :)

Rebecca: Does sound tasty, doesn't it?

Michael: Thank you!

Me, too.

Pamela: I've read a lot of posts--I don't know how I'm going to keep track of all those blogs, now that April's over! (I wasn't very organized . . . and a bit kamikaze about it all.)

Niki: Thank you! :)

Cindy: Z Day--and the finish line! Now there's a reason to have a holiday.

Thank you so much!

I'll be seeing you around, too; since I follow you. ;)

Lisa: I did?! I'm honored! Be right over to read your post . . .

N4M3L3SS: Thank you!

Trisha: Latin names can get pretty interesting. LOL.

Shelley said...

No I've never eaten that before. I'm not sure if I'd eat it, because I don't really like trying new foods. But it does looks interesting! :)

The Desert Rocks said...

All this time I thought Jujubes were candies- thanks for the educational post.

Arlee Bird said...

I've only eaten those gummy jujube candies.

Congratulations on making it through to the end of the Challenge. You provided a real education in your posts!

Tossing It Out

Rachel Morgan said...

Wow, that post was so full of words I'm not even sure how to pronounce! And it's probably safe to say that out of the 1000+ challenge entrants you were the only one to use this... um.. ziziphus zizyphus. (Scientists must have fun naming these things...)

Anonymous said...

I've eaten it and it's great!
Awesome post by the way! ^^

xoxo, Mezo

The Golden Eagle said...

Shelley: Some foods I wouldn't try, either. LOL. But jujube I might--since it's fruit and all.

The Desert Rocks: You're very welcome!

I had thought they were candies, too, until I saw them referenced once in a book as being in food . . .

Arlee: I haven't eaten the candy or the fruit--the latter I'd like to try sometime, though. :)

Thank you! This has been a very exciting Challenge--it was a great idea for the month of April!

Rachel: I'll bet. :D Can you imagine saying "Oh, yes! We'll call this Ziziphus ziziphus!"

Mezotersenyum: I think you're the only person here who has actually eaten it--cool!

Thank you!

Stratoz said...

a wonderful end to the challenge. well, it is about a plant after all.