Different Types of Dates from Around the World
In India we are used to a particular few kid of dates. In fact, when we go shopping for dates, we usually do not care about size, colour, sweetness or any other such factors but usually ask the one simple question; with seeds or seedless. Unfortunately, our understanding of dates is limited to just these two primary factors which is a shame because dates are a fascinating dry fruit with not one, not two, not even fourteen as we are about to show you but an incredible over 200 varieties that are grown on date palms around the globe.
Dates are considered to be a holy fruit in the Middle East, so much that the date palm is regarded as the “Tree of Life”. Historians believe that dates are one of the most ancient fruits ever grown and recognised and that their cultivation traces back to over a staggering 8,000 years ago.
Dates as we know from our earlier blog are also very high in calories, fibre, nutritional value and come packed with a series of antioxidants which make them the dry fruit of choice for several people. They are, at least in India, considerably less expensive than conventional dry fruits and this makes them a huge draw for people of all socio-economic capabilities and not restricted to consumers who may not be able to afford all sorts of dry fruits.
As mentioned earlier, there are more than 200 varieties of dates with different shapes and flavours, however, all of them are the same in nutrition. In this article, allow me to introduce you to 14 d
ifferent types of dates from around the world.
Types of Date
These are probably the most common types of dates and have a soft, delicious sweet flavour and texture with a rich taste and high fibrous content. They usually tend to be a colour of a
mber to reddish-brown and tend to be either large or even very large in size. Due to a high moisture content found in Medjool dates they are ideal to eat fresh as well. Medjool dates are grown in Morocco, Palestine, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and ripen early in the harvesting season.
Piarom dates are another kind of commonly found dates and are usually exported to different countries as well where the date is not found indigenously. Piarom Dates h
ave a dark thin skin which is fully attached to its flesh. They have a unique sweet taste with traits of toffee and caramel. They are semi dry, long, thin and oval in shape with a dark brown to black skin and 2 to 5 cm in size. Due to their level of fructose, they are suitable for people with diabetes and blood pressure. You can stuff the pitted ones with nuts creating a delicate snack. Piarom Dates are cultivated throughout the Persian Gulf and the Middle East since ancient Mesopotamia 6,000 BC and are known to be one of the oldest dates recorded.
Deglet Noor Dates
Deglet Noor dates are semi-dry dates which are sweet and delicate in flavour and are known for their aesthetic Date flavour. They are medium to large in size and their skins ripens from amber to a deep brown. Deglet Noor dates are excellent for cooking and ripens late in the harvesting season. The name itself means “date of the light” because the centre of the date looks golden or light when held up to the sun. These dates are so commonly seen that their area of origin is not really specified.
Mazafati Dates are rich in moisture due to their 15% to 35% moisture content and a natural soft taste of caramel and chocolate with traits of brown sugar. They don’t look like usual dates and have an attractive soft and fleshy appearance with a dark brown colour. The size of Mazafati dates usually ranges from 2.5 to 4 cm with a thick flesh. Mazafati dates are loaded with vitamins, fiber and potassium. You can eat them right out of your bag as a snack. Pit and stuff them with cheese or whatever you desire. Mazafati dates are expensive because they originated from Bam, a city in Kerman, Iran and nowhere else.
Barhi Dates are one of the more popular export quality dates due to their premium nature. These dates are fresh, rich with a syrupy flavour. They are the smallest and most fragile type of dates. The firm skin and flesh turn amber, then golden brown when stored, and the fruit itself is small to medium in size. Barhi dates are ideal and suitable for using in the desserts, since they tend to keep their texture and pair wonderfully with different fruits. The Barhi palm was introduced to California in 1913 from Basra, Iraq and is now a staple of that area.
Rabbi Dates have thin, meaty skin that clings to the flesh with a soft texture and have the best taste among dates; they are sweet, fleshy and soft with 3 to 5 cm size. They are semi-dry, long, oval-shaped dates with an attractive reddish black color, their size is available from 3 to 5 cm. Rabbi dates can be used directly as a snack, or to chop them to use in cereals, puddings, breads, cakes, ice creams and candy bars. Rabbi Date is one of the oldest and most delicious dates cultivated in Iranshahr, Zabul, Chabahar and other cities in Sistan Baluchistan, Iran.
Thoory Dates are an uncommon kind of variety is not easily found or sources. They tend to be fairly dry and have a delicate nutty flavour. The fruit is medium to large oblong in shape with golden-brown flesh and ripens late in the season. Due to their perfect pairing with bakeries and bakers, Thoory Dates are also known as bread dates. Thoory or Thuri dates are for being a product of faraway Algeria.
Sayer dates are semi-dry dates with a unique soft texture and a sweet flavour. Sayer dates are long and oval and about 2.5 to 4 cm in size, they start off yellow in colour and turn amber to reddish and dark brown as they ripen. They are great for having a snack straight out of the pocket, and you can also use them in sweet and savoury dishes. Sayer dates originated from the Middle East and lands around the Persian Gulf.
These soft dates are heavy and sweet in flavour. Dayri dates are medium to large and have soft flesh and red skin. When they ripen, the skin turns from red to amber, then to a golden brown when stored. The sweet but not overly cloying rich flavour of Dayri dates makes it suitable for sweet and savoury recipes. Its large size makes it ideal for a stuffing date that is elegantly complemented by salty bacon and rich, creamy goat cheese. Dayri dates are a native date from Basra an arid town in Iraq.
Halawy Dates are a delightful soft date with a sweet caramel-honey like flavour. Halawy dates are a small to medium dry fruit with golden-brown skin and flesh that is delicate and tender. Ideal and small, they are perfect for an afternoon snack to eat right out of your bag. The Halawy date variety is from Mesopotamia, and the name literally means “Sweet” in Arabic.
Sukkary is a premium sweet crispy high-quality date considered to be both very nutritious and great for healing. The name of Sukkary is obtained from “Sukkur” which means Sugar in Arabic. Sukkary Dates are the Queen of Dates that are appreciated for their golden, light, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. They are the perfect replacement to sweet treats. Moist with dessert-like sweetness and need to be soaked. They are cultivated in the Al Qassim region of Iraq.
Khudri dates are moderately sweet with a nice “Date” flavour and are chewy but not dry. These dates have a smooth dark brown colour, and not too wrinkly. Their skin flakes a little and come in both small and large sizes. Khudri dates are used as a delicious snack or sugar alternative and are cultivated in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Zahadi dates have a rich nutty flavour which is often reminiscent of peanut butter with a slight taste that brings dried apricots to mind. Zahidi dates are medium-sized and oval in shape. They have light brown skin and a thick, golden inner meat that encloses a single seed. Consuming these dates can prevent many diseases such as indigestion, anaemia while improving memory and vision. Zahidi means “of a small quantity” or “nobility,” and was cultivated around the 1900s in Northern Iraq.
Safawi Dates have a sweetness and flavour which are more intense than Khudri dates. Chewiness varies with how wrinkled the date is and a more wrinkled date is harder to chew. They are medium-sized round dates and have a dark black cherry colour with hints of brown. They are known best for treating anaemia and intoxication. Safawi Dates improve digestion, too. Safawi dates are light, moist and delicious dates grown in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
To ensure that you are getting only premium quality and at the right price you should consider to buy dates online. In fact, you should ideally buy all your dry fruits online. Inaaya Snack Smarter is one such trusted vendor who delivers to your doorstep all over the country and their goods are always fresh and well packaged at very reasonable prices.