Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, August 5 – 红枣, “Hong zao,” Chinese red dates, or jujube, whatever you call them, they are delicious! This is the season for fresh dates where we live. There are different varieties, some are larger and more rounded, some smaller and oblong. The texture reminds me of an apple, they are crunchy and sweet, not juicy, but not dry either. Year round, dried red dates are popular here for a variety of uses. My picture shows a couple different sizes of whole dried red dates, some that are sliced, and a drink packet where they have been combined with medlar (goji berries) and sugar. I love to just put a big handful of dried dates in a cup, cover it with hot water and let it sit for a while until I have a delicious “tea.” The dried dates are also often used in soups, porridge, dim sum style cakes, and desserts, and they can be bought candied as a snack. They are also popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine as they are packed with nutrition. Maybe the fresh aren’t available worldwide, but good chances you can buy the dried ones!