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Thursday, January 26, 2012

AZUFAIFO (THE TREE), AZUFAIFA (THE FRUIT) WITH 13TH C JUJUBE SYRUP RECIPE FOR PANCAKES

jujube_trees_1
Photo from: YardFarm
OCast açufeyfas, açufayfas, jujubas Hisp Ar. zufáizafa, zufeizel, aneb, za’rur or mespilus, Gr. serica, L. Zizyphus jujuba, LL zizipha, Fr. arbre où Judas or jujubier, Eng. jujube fruit. It looks like a cherry and is edible. It tastes like a cross between cherries and apples. The plant is cultivated from Catalonia and Aragon to southern Portugal. It is believed that it first appeared in northern China. It was introduced and cultivated on the Mediterranean and in northern Africa in ancient times. In Spain, particularly, it was a basic ingredient for pectoral decoctions.  Lozenges containing jujube fruit were used as astringents, tonics and diuretics. In Spain and Italy, it was a favorite dessert served raw, as a jelly, as a confection in honey or in sugar syrup. Further, the jujube could be dried and stewed with other ingredients such as millet. Perry maintains that Anon. Andalus provides a recipe for jujube syrup to calm coughing, reduce fever, lighten the constitution, purify and thicken blood and quench thirst. Huici states that was grape syrup not jujube. Avenzoar recommends jujube to alleviate coughing and urinary infection. It is high in vitamin C content. Eating a sufficient quantity of it alone serves as a laxative. Jujube pâté, the mucilage extracted from the fruit, was made into several varieties of bronchial pastilles. Today it is practically unknown. [Anón/Huici.1966:280:515; Chirino/Herrera. 1973: 183:9:238; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5 00:148; Font. Plantas. 1979:329:460-462; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:106; and Usher. 1974:618]

JUJUBE SYRUP ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN ANDALUS #515 JARABE DE UVAS p 280 (using jujubes instead of grapes)

Crowned Jewels: JuJubes
Photo from: chocolateandcroissants.blogspot.com
2 lbs jujubes
1 ¼ oz purslane
1 ¼ oz lettuce
2 ½ qts water
4 c  sugar

Place jujubes, purslane and lettuce in a saucepan with the water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer. Clarify it and then add sugar. Boil gently until it takes the form syrup. Drink ¼ c syrup with ¾ c water or better yet pour the syrup concentrate over pancakes instead of honey or maple syrup.

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