This little fruity candy is a staple at movie theaters and is available in vending machines and candy stores all over the US. These simple little snacks are delightfully chewy and brightly colored ad they have not changed much since the first years that they were sold. There are indications that this candy has been made since 1709 and that the recipe has not changed much since then.
If you love these little candies and always pick up a box at the theater, you are actually enjoying a treat that has been made by candy makers since the 1700s! This proves just how good these little candies really are and if you have never enjoyed them before, you need to put them on your list! While the original flavors might be gone, you will still get to experience a very classic candy that has been made for over 200 years!
History of Jujubes
As mentioned above, these cute little candies have been around since 1709. At the time, this candy was made with gum Arabic, sugar, and a date-like fruit that was called the jujube fruit. This is where the candy got its name and the moniker has remained ever since, even after its introduction in the US.
By 1853, these candies were being sold as Ju Ju Paste and Ju Ju Drops but were basically the same candy as the original. Along the way, Jujube-style candies have been flavored in many ways, but many of these flavors have been fruity in nature.
Jujubes came to the US in the 1920s. The original flavors in the US were lilac, violet, rose, lemon, and spearmint. The company that made them was called Heide. They invented their own recipe for this tasty little candy and they sold them with great success for all of the years that Henry Heide owned the company. The company was run by his son Andrew and then his grandson Philip.
Hershey’s bought the candy company in 1995 and took over the production of Jujubes. The original flavors were abandoned over time for the classic cherry, lemon, lime, orange, and licorice collection. The candy was sold a Juicyfruits for the early years of its existence, and Jujubes were made as a separate candy in the beginning years of the company.
The Juicyfruits are softer and are clear in design. This gives them a very different texture and flavor than Jujubes. The Jujubes were cured for longer and included more corn starch to make them chewier. Over time they have become softer than they were in the early years, which has been nice for people who don’t want to have to suck on them for a while to get them soft.
The current Jujubes flavor line-up is the same as the classic box, but the licorice has been replaced with violet flavor, which is purple. There was a short run where spearmint was in the box instead of lime, but they were not that popular and were replaced with the lime flavor that is still made today.
What Do Jujubes Taste Like?
These little candies taste like traditional fruity flavors, but some people swear that they still find the occasional licorice or spearmint Jujube in newer boxes. The flavors are not powerful, so if you want really strong fruit-flavored candies, these might not be the right treat for you. You will get strong orange, lemon, and cherry flavors from these candies in the boxes.
The violet is a little bit understated for some people’s tastes but the lime makes up for it by being one of the strongest flavors in the box. They seem to hold onto their flavor even when the box becomes stale, so old candies will still be just about as good as a new box. These treats make a friendly candy for kids since the flavors are so basic and the ingredients list is so limited and safe.
Where Can You Buy Jujubes?
You can buy this candy at any movie theater around the US with very few exceptions. You can also find them at most grocery stores. Amazon sells them and so do other online sellers. You will find that there is a whole range of different box designs and styles that are used for these candies, so you might find that you will get a fun and unique box when you order online.
These little candies are reasonably priced and you can get small and large boxes of them. They are a common part of mixed candy bags for Halloween and the small individual boxes will hold about 4-6 of these little yummy candies.
Ingredients in Jujubes
From the Amazon information for the theater box size candies, Jujubes contain the following:
- Corn syrup
- Modified food starch
- White mineral oil
- California wax
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Red 40
- Yello 5
- Yellow 6
- Blue 1
- A trivial amount of fat
This is a simple list and you can see why the candies are a bit firm and tough to chew. Having some wax in the mix can help make them chewy but not rubbery like Juicyfruits.
What Other Candies Are Jujubes Like?
The chewy and waxy texture of Jujubes is fairly unique, but they have been compared to gumdrops. You will also find that some people feel like they are close to jelly beans in texture as well as taste. Some people also say that they are a lot like a candy called Chuckles.
Jujubes are very easy to snack on as they are small and bite-sized and require a little bit of chewing to make them truly edible. This is part of what makes the ma great snack for the theater, where it’s easy to accidentally eat far too much while you are watching the movie and not paying attention to the food you brought with you.
What is a Jujube Tree?
This is a small fruit tree that grows red dates or Chinese dates. The plants are not very big and they create fruit that tastes a little like an apple when it is ripe. They are usually allowed to wither until they become dates. This is the more common consumption method for this fruit.
There is nothing much about this fruit or the dates that it turns into that has to do with Jujubes the candy. It is thought that the word was just fun to say and so it become the name of the candy. There is no indication that Jujube fruit was ever used to make Jujubes, even in the early years of this candy existing.
What do Jujubes Look Like?
Jujubes are round and have a flat bottom. Some people compare them to the Dots candy because of this. They are firm to the touch and they come in bright colors that make it clear what flavor they are. This is a small candy that is little more than a bite, and they are chewy and delicious from start to finish.
Juicyfruits are made in the shape of the actual fruits and appear to be a different color because they are made with a clear gelatin process. The flavors of each kind of candy are technically the same, but many people say that Jujubes taste far different than Juicyfruits.
The packaging of this candy was originally pastel in color, with a soft off-white or pinkish background and lots of images of the candy on the outside of the box. Now, the boxes are usually green and have bright images of Jujubes all over the box. The lettering is cheerful and bright and the boxes often advertise Chuckles and Juicyfruits on the back.
The small individual size boxes that you will see at Halloween are often yellow in color and show a simple logo and some images of the candy stacked up. This packaging theme is not carried through in larger boxes.
Do Jujubes Start Out Soft?
The texture of Jujbes is intentional. They are meant to be stiff and chewy and not soft and squishy. This is the defining feature of this candy when compared to Juicyfruits. The chewy texture of these candies is very recognizable to people who love them. If you are not a fan of slightly hard-to-chew candies, these might not be the right candies for you.
However, the slightly hard and chewy texture of these candies is one of the big attractions to people who love this texture option. Being able to sit and work on these little snacks while you are busy with other tasks is one of the things that people love about them.
Some people complain about the fact that these candies are kind of tough and that they can stick to your teeth. To those people, the best advice that can be given is to grab a box of Juicyfruits and see how you feel about them.
Ads for Jujbes
One of the original Jujubes and Juicyfruit boxes:
Jujubes made an appearance in Seinfeld:
E Trade ad that includes Jujubes: