The jujube (Ziziphus Zizyphus), also known as Chinese date, is a deciduous tree of the family Rhamnaceae.Often is used as an ornamental plant. It is believed that the jujube originates from North Africa and Syria, and was subsequently exported to China and India, where it is cultivated for over 4000 years.The Romans imported the first in Italy, and called it Zyzyphum.
Myths and Legends
Homer tells (Book IX - Odyssey) that Ulysses and his men, carried off course by a storm, landed on the island of the Lotus-eaters (some today Djerba), in North Africa.Some of his men, once landed to explore the island, they left groped by the fruit of the lotus, a fruit magic made them forget their wives, families and homesick.It is likely that the lotus mentioned by Homer, is precisely the Zizyphus lotus, a wild jujube, and that the spell of the Lotus-eaters were not caused by narcotics, but only by the alcoholic beverage that can be prepared with the fruits of jujube.It seems that for the ancient Romans, the jujube was the symbol of silence and how that adorn the temples of the goddess Prudence. In Central Italy was cultivated in many houses adjacent to the house in the most sheltered and exposed to the sun. It was felt that it was a lucky charm plant.
"Andare in brodo di giuggiole" is a proverb well known in Italy.With reference to the sugar content of jujube fruit, the proverb is used to indicate who try, by her own or others, the sweetness of a strong enjoyment.The Giuggiolone SI.GI. is obtained by macerating the fruit of the jujube in Trebbiano wine in a very particular way that has lasted almost three years and allows to extract the oily juice of the fruit. The Giuggiolone is a beverage made of wine with a deep golden color.The nose offers all the perfume of ripe fruit of the jujube and taste fully confirms the nose also showing to be well balanced. But the jujube, besides being so tantalizing for the palate, also has excellent medicinal properties. It contains triterpenoid saponins, small quantities of alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, but especially vitamin C. Indeed 10 jujubes equivalent to 2 oranges. Its main therapeutic properties are as follows: hepatoprotective, ipocolesterolemiche, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, emollient and expectorant. In folk medicine is considered one of the four fruits "pecs" with figs, dates and raisins.