Jujube, a fruit that people hardly ever talk about. Poor thing!

Have you ever turned into jujube liquor?

No, at LDVC we haven’t turned mad. We have just translated into English what we say in Italian, “andare in brodo di giuggiole”. Don’t worry, even an Italian person wouldn’t understand the meaning of this saying without the audience help.

This is an Italian expression meaning “to be extremely happy”, “to be over the moon” from happiness. In what way would jujube be linked to happiness and having a a great time? We can just guess that might be due to the sweet taste of jujube liquor.

Jujube: a fruit coming from far lands

Jujube

It looks like a small date, indeed it is called “red date” but also Korean/Indian/Chinese date. It is grown in southern Asian countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, China and India, but also in Italy, where it must have been introduced later.

In Asia it is eaten fresh or dried as a snack and in its smoked version.

In Italy jujube is not eaten as a fruit, but it used to make a digestif called brodo di giuggiole, even though it has nothing to do with a broth (brodo means broth, stock).

Let’s pop round to Italy

You can find jujubes in Italy, in Arqua’ Petrarca. It’s a tiny town in the province of Padova (in Veneto region) named after the well-known Italian poet Petrarch who lived his last years there.

Such a picturesque and suggestive medieval town has been awarded with an official acknowledgement by the Italian Touring Club (a non profit association dating back to 1894 that promotes tourism all over Italy) for its architectural and natural patrimony. Because beauty can be concentrated in one small spot.

Here jujube trees are cultivated and jujube liquor is made at the beginning of autumn. It is said that it was offered to do homage to very important people who visited the city, meaning that it is actually something really special.

How to make jujube liquor

An easy recipe with few ingredients:

  • 1 kg jujube, well ripe and dried up;
  • 1 kg sugar;
  • 2 bunches of grapes;
  • 2 quinces;
  • 2 glasses of wine;
  • 2 litres water;
  • some lemon zest.

Place the unpeeled jujubes into a pot and cover them with water. Add the grapes and the sugar and boil for about one hour, making sure you stir above all when half the water has evaporated.

After one hour, add the quinces and the wine and let it go on cooking. Only after wine has evaporated, add the lemon zest, and not before! It doesn’t have to undergo a long cooking otherwise the essential oils it contains will be destroyed. At this point, stir continuosly as this mixture will get jelly and it might stick to the bottom. Once dense, turn the fire off and filter it into previously sterilized jars.

Let it cool and take a jar out at the end of your meal. This liquor will leave you a sweet taste in your mouth and will help you digest.

A very nice treat to end your meals with.

Sources

treccani.it - Giuggiole
lifegate.it . Itinerario. I 10 borghi medievali più “golosi” d’Italia
my-personaltrainer.it - Brodo di Giuggiole

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Have you ever turned into jujube liquor?

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