Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Fruit Fest

I meandered through the wet markets this morning on my way to work on a quest for fresh fruit.  I saw a whole basket of these little fruits at my favorite vendor's stand (she is a tiny, hunchbacked woman with no teeth) and bought a pound on a whim.  I had absolutely no idea what they were.

Do you know?

They are about the size of cherries, have a very thin skin, are incredibly crispy and have the texture of a tender, crisp McIntosh apple.  There is a mid-sized pit.  They are really, really sweet.

I asked a legal assistant in the office.  They are dates!  Specifically (and this took a little bit of google image sleuthing) they are jujubes. 

But you know what absolutely blows my mind?  I know these fruits.  They are just the fresh version of the red date that I have eaten my entire life, and could practically identify with my eyes closed.  If you had shown me this picture, I would have had no trouble telling you exactly what this was:

These red dates are ubiquitous in Chinese teas, soups, desserts and any traditional Chinese herbal concoction/medicine.
Crazy right?  I feel so silly because obviously the dried version must have come from somewhere fresh.  But it never occurred to me and I never put two and two together!

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