Xinjiang Hetian Jun Jujube (Hong Zao)
Jujubes are a fruit that is loved widely throughout China for its food and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) applications. Jujubes are also called Chinese dates or red dates for their somewhat similar appearance and taste to palm-tree dates, though they have no relation and have a very different texture, being less dense and sticky.
The highest quality Grade One jujubes grow in dry, sunny climates with hot days and cold nights, making Xinjiang, China, a natural world capital of jujube production. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's arid northwest is known for producing the best jujubes available, and demand for domestic jujubes has only grown. These jujubes were grown in Majiazhuangzi, a village of 518 residents whose incomes partly depend on agriculture.
These Grade One Jun jujubes feature the large fruit, sweet flesh, small pits and thin, glossy red skin that define Xinjiang’s beloved fruit crop. The redness indicates sugar accumulation. The redder the date, the sweeter the flesh. These particular jujubes are among the sweetest we’ve ever tasted!
Jujube (红枣, hóngzǎo, scientific name Ziziphus jujuba) of the Rhamnaceae buckthorn family was first domesticated in China over 7,000 years ago. It entered written history as early as 3,000 years ago in Shijing, the “Book of Songs,” China’s oldest collection of poetry.
Jujubes are a frequent prescription for any number of ailments. Physician Sun Simiao (581-682 A.D.), the Tang Dynasty’s celebrated “King of Medicine,” wrote that jujube is so practical, it nourishes the blood, qi, stomach and longevity. Accordingly, jujube is one of the most important fruits in China, and they are associated with “a sweet life, a flourishing business, fertility, harmony, and happiness” (Liu et al., 2020).
Though high quality dried jujubes can be enjoyed straight from the bag, they are even better steeped in soups, teas and desserts. Try bringing three whole jujubes to boil in a liter of cold water and let it simmer for up to one hour (we also add goji berries toward the end of steeping). You won’t believe how sweet the liquid is! If it’s too sweet, you can add hot water to dilute it. Drink hot or chilled, and don’t toss the fruit away! Once cooled enough to bite into, it will be heavy and saturated with sweetness. Jujube water helps protect and detoxify the liver.
Jujubes pair excellently with chicken stocks (including broth for hotpot) and even rice. Some well-known regional delicacies include Xi’an jing gao, a sticky rice cake layered with red bean and steamed jujubes (similar to eight-treasure rice), and Korean samgyetang, a summertime ginseng chicken soup featuring young chicken stuffed with sticky rice, garlic and jujubes.Source: Grown in Majiazhuangzi Village, Toutunhe District, Ürümqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Size: 500 grams (17.6 ounces)
Best by: The package has a production date of September 2020. Dried jujube can be stored for more than one year at room temperature with proper insect control and for 2–3 years at 39°F.