Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Jujube the name commonly given to the fruit of various small spiny trees in the genus Ziziphus. The most important is Z. jujuba, which grows in mild to temperate, dry areas of both hemispheres. It has been known in China since antiquity, and its fruit is often called Chinese date. Whether it originated in China or Syria is not clear, but it is cultivated for its fruits right across this range: in Japan, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and westwards to the Mediterranean region.

Z. mauritiana, the Indian jujube, is adapted to warmer climates. It is grown commercially only in India.