A box of jujubes.
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Jujube (// or //), or jube, is the name of several types of candy, varying in description on a regional basis. The candies can vary in texture from being hard and resinous to something similar to firm loukoum or gummy candies.
American jujubes are a type of starch, gum and corn syrup based candy drops originally produced by the Heide Candy Company. The product was sold to The Hershey Company, then to Farley & Sathers, which merged with current owner Ferrara Candy Company. They are much stiffer than their relatives (e.g. Jujyfruits).
Jujubes are a traditional western candy that first existed in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The candy came to prominence in the mid-20th century. As with most candies of this era, although jujubes are sweet in taste and generally colorful, they do not have the strong and distinctive flavor of modern candies due to the expense of chemical flavorants at the time. Jell-O produced during the same time period also exhibits a similar lack of coordination between color and flavor.
The manufacturer's website states that "Jujubes, known for their hard, break-glass quality texture, began production in 1920. Original flavors included lilac, violet, rose, spearmint, and lemon. Rose and spearmint have been changed to cherry and lime, as a result of flavor availability." Thus, the current flavor lineup is lemon (yellow), lilac (orange), lime (green), cherry (red), and violet (purple).
How they are eaten
Due to the hard, dense, and resinous nature of Jujubes, the candies are often eaten as a type of hard candy - "sucked on" rather than chewed. Individual Jujubes can be allowed to gradually rehydrate in the mouth with gentle chewing. When frozen, they become brittle, and break when chewed on. It is due to their density that the 1996 Gummi Reviews published by NewTimes, Inc., stated that "Jujubes are a nearly inedible delicacy, that have less in common with gummi bears than prehistoric amber droppings have with old insects".
Product changes over the years
The original Jujube consistency, as noted above, was hard as a rock or a fossilized bit of amber. Due to the sale of the manufacturing rights to two subsequent owners, the Jujube has changed to a chewy, fruit flavored gummy that bears little resemblance to the subtly flavored, suckable original candy.
Australian and New Zealand
Jubes are chewy gelatine-based sweets with some similarities to jelly-like confectionery common elsewhere. Traditionally, they are small, squishy, colorful blobs. They usually have a flat base, and are covered in a thick layer of sugar. They can be either hard or soft. They are also commonly known as,'Jube Jubies, Jubies or just Joobs'. Both gumdrops and wine gums could be considered varieties of jube, as would jelly babies if not for their distinctive shape. Jellie tots are also shapeless blobs and could also be considered Joobs.
In Canada, jujubes or jubes are the name used for a particular type of "gummy" candies. They are also soft and squishy, with their texture due to starch, gelatin, and glucose syrup. Other ingredients include sugar and flavoring. Common flavors are orange, lime, lemon, cherry, black licorice and grape.
In Guyana jujubes are made using gelatin, sugar, water, flavoring and a variety of food colorings. The confection is most commonly cube shaped, chewy and about 3/4 of an inch thick and is covered with powdered sugar; it resembles a Turkish Delight but does not contain any nut pieces. Jujubes are sold at many snack stalls and are known as "jub-jubs".
In 1970s there was a candy brand called Moon Drops which was sugar-covered jujubes with a somewhat sour tasting soft-gooey, fruit-flavored core.
In Italy, jujubes are known as "puntini" and they come in many fruit flavors and colors.
- Norton, Dan (2002-02-18), Jujubes, Flak Magazine