Thai jujubes are small to medium-sized, depending on the specific variety, and average 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter and 5 to 6 centimeters in length. The fruits are oval to oblong in appearance and have thin but tough skin with a smooth, taut, and semi-glossy surface. Thai jujubes are customarily sold in their green stage, but the fruits can sometimes be found when they have transitioned into a yellow to yellow-brown hue. Underneath the skin, the flesh is white, aqueous, and firm with a crisp, crunchy, and cracking consistency. The flesh also encases a central core filled with a light tan stone containing two brown seeds. Thai jujubes release a faint apple-like aroma and have a clean, refreshing flavor. The flesh is initially sweet, with a subtle blend of Asian pear and green apple nuances, followed by a tangy, slightly tart aftertaste. If the jujubes are consumed in their more mature stages, their skin will wrinkle and soften, developing a spongy, dry, and chewier consistency with musky undertones.
Thai jujubes are an excellent source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, boost collagen production, and reduce inflammation. The fruits are also a good source of potassium to balance fluid levels within the body; iron to develop the protein hemoglobin that transports oxygen through the bloodstream; vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning; and provide other nutrients, including manganese, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Thai jujubes have a sweet, subtly tart flavor that is well suited for fresh and cooked preparations. Jujubes are typically consumed straight, out of hand, as a refreshing snack in Thailand, and the firm fruits are eaten alone, sprinkled with salt, or cut and dipped into sauces. Thai jujubes can also be crushed, mixed with water, and enjoyed as a cooling beverage, blended into other fruit drinks, or sliced and incorporated into salads. In addition to raw preparations, Thai jujubes can be used in their more mature, yellow-to yellow-brown stages and can be stewed, simmered, or used as a flavoring in sweet or savory recipes. The fruits are commonly mixed into soups with mushrooms, cooked with aromatics and boiled eggs, or combined into meat-based dishes. Thai jujubes can also flavor desserts and sweet soups; they can be stewed in sugar as a candied treat; cooked into porridges and rice dishes; or steeped into tea. Jujubes can be utilized fresh or dried, or they can be pickled for extended use. Thai jujubes pair well with roselle, ginger, mushrooms, cinnamon, walnuts, goji berries, ginseng root, watercress, and raspberries. Fresh whole jujubes can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks. Dried jujubes will keep for 6 to 12 months when stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
Jujubes are available year-round, fruiting multiple times per year.