A fruit with a leathery skin, varying from round to elongate and from cherry-size to plum-size. It has a thin, edible skin surrounding whitish flesh with a sweet, prune-like flavor. The single hard stone contains two seeds. The immature fruit is green in color, but as it ripens it goes through a yellow-green stage with mahogany-colored spots appearing on the skin as the fruit ripens further. The fully mature fruit is entirely red. Shortly after becoming fully red, the fruit begins to soften and wrinkle. The fruit can be eaten after it becomes wrinkled, but most people prefer them during the interval between the yellow-green stage and the full red stage. It is at this stage that the flesh is crisp and sweet, reminiscent of an apple. The Chinese date originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. The Chinese date is generally imported from China, though some are grown on the west coast of the US. They are most often found dried in Chinese markets and must be soaked in water before using.
If picked green, jujubes will not ripen. Ripe fruit may be stored at room temperature for about a week.