Friday, October 16, 2015

Jujube

                                                       
                                                Jujubes - Summer Fruit 

                                                               


We had just taken our last swim and headed  home on foot from the crystal clear waters of beautiful Mathraki beach. The sun was hitting the dirt road and us so hard we felt like we were roasting on an open fire . As we walked up the dirt road, with my sister and all the town kids, which was a good 30 minute walk. All I could think of was  the moment we would run down the little ramp, that was located on the side of the house, swinging open the green gate and seeing our grandma waiting for us  at the doorway of our little summer house with a bowl of fresh fruit. Right after the beach she always served us fresh fruit and she always said:." Come have some fruit it freshens the heart"
 The most memorable fruit was the Jujube as a New Yorker I had never heard of these little juicy, delicious suckers. They are the size of a grape and  almost taste like tiny apples but they are crunchier and yes, tastier as well. My grandma had a little tree in the garden that was complimented very nice  with a stone well in the center of it. That's how she watered her garden, with natural rain water. Her garden was brimming with Jujubes, but not only, it was always filled withvarious earthly treasures. I always loved going to that little garden, I always found something to munch on. My favorite snack was the Jujube.They are many ways you can eat Jujubes but my favorite way, was throwing the pail in the well bringing up the water, picking the Jujubes from the tree, chucking them in the pail with the fresh water and then just munching away till my stomach ached. Forget about  potato chips, chocolate bars, cookies etc., once you try one Jujube  that's it, you will be hooked, you will not be able to stop at just one!

Jujubes  are also called Chinese dates.

Their botanical name according to the wikipedia is  Ziziphus jujuba

The Chinese have been cultivating Jujubes for over 4,000 years and I always thought it was a Corfiot fruit, well I  guess was wrong.  Today they are griown in quite a few countries: southern Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Russina, and of course let me not forget the  southwestern United StatesThey come in many varieties, besides jujubes, they are also called red dates, Chinese dates, Korean Dates or indian Dates.

Jujubes are a healthy snack, due to the fact that they contain magnesium, potassium, niacin, copper, iron and a few other nutrients. It is very well known that they contain more vitamin C than any citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons. They are also used in many cosmetic products as they are also known for diminshing wrinkles. I swear my grandparents lived in paradise, they had access to earth's finest riches.

To enjoy your Jujubes you can eat them right off the tree. Or you can sundry them and then infuse them in ouzo ( so good for the winter). You can also dry them and use them for tea.