One of the five most important fruits of China, jujube is a shrub of the buckthorn family which bears dark brown oval fruits with a crisp, white flesh and a long, pointed stone. Although native to Southern Asia, jujubes are now cultivated extensively in the South of France and in California.
The jujube fruit is usually preserved in syrup, producing a confection which resembles, in taste, dried dates – hence the name Chinese Date, by which the jujube is sometimes known.
Dried jujubes are frequently used to sweeten medicines since they are thought to be one of the fruits that are soothing to the throat and chest.
The name jujube is also applied, in-correctly, to sweets made of gelatine, gum arabic and sugar and flavoured with jujube, or made to imitate it.