Friday, 30 August 2013

Jujube (Τζιτζιφιά)

A quick post today, showcasing an unusual fruit which most people wouldn't be too familiar with: the jujube.
These little berries are green inside, and taste a little like sour dry apples.
The tree that they grown on is not necessarily a very bog one - it can look more like a shrub.
When the fruit wrinkles and dries up, it tastes like a date (no wonder the jujube is also called 'red date').
The Chinese use them dried in teas and tonics.
In Greece, they were very common in many parts of the country, and their Greek name - tzitzifies - is also a common placename (there is a suburb in Athens called Tzttzifies, and even an urban village in Hania).

I would never have got to know this tree if it weren't for my keen eye to spot unusual flora in my environment. Most of the students at MAICh come from Mediterranean countries where the jujube is more well known, hence, I never got a chance to get my hands on the fruit before they did. This year, the jujube seemed to survive thanks to its late fruiting - most of the students who know this tree well have left the Institute!

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