Snack on these


Illustration by Sarah Hansel

Before I moved to California, I thought jujubes were fruit-flavored candies. Why they’re named after Chinese dates, who knows? Actual jujube fruits grow on deciduous trees rather than palms. They’re small and hard, with a center pit and a flavor like tart apples. Ziziphus jujuba has a short early fall season in California. Ripe fruits are reddish brown. Once they’re dried, they become a gorgeous deep red and they’re good for snacking. You may find Vietnamese smoked jujubes or Indian pickled versions. They’re also used medicinally in many Asian cultures.