Posted by: imalqata | February 11, 2014

A Tasty Treat

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

While we usually bring our own food for brunch at the site, today we were given some jujubes to eat from a tree growing at the southwest corner of the palace. Jujubes are small berries that come from the Christ’s Thorn or Ziziphus spina christie. The plant is found throughout Asia and the Near East and has small yellow flowers and tiny oval leaves and branches covered with spikes that, according to legend, were used to weave Jesus’s crown at the crucifixion.

Ziziphus spina christie

Ziziphus spina christie

They produce a small fruit that tastes a little like a very tart apple and has thick, chewy skin. Jujubes have been found at archaeological sites in Egypt including in Tutankhamun’s tomb and in foundation deposits at the temple of Hatshepsut about a mile north of us as the crow flies.

Dish of jujubes from Hatshepsut’s foundation deposits, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund (25.3.52)

Dish of jujubes from Hatshepsut’s foundation deposits, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund (25.3.52)

The berries have many healing properties and are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, More familiar to us is the popular movie candy which took its name from the berries.

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Peter Lacovara

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