For hundreds of years, the date palm has been a part of Emirati culture. According to several scientists, the date palm tree is one of the world’s oldest fruit-producing trees.
The dates are highly nutritious as well as it is an integral part of the diet of many people in countries such as the UAE. Indeed, with the new interest in healthy eating, more individuals are turning to dates as a sugar substitute.
Date palms come in over a hundred different types, and the trees serve a variety of practical services in addition to producing date fruit. This makes dates a significant part of the Emirati economy.
Further, Dates have religious and cultural significance in the Middle East, in addition to their nutritional and tasty qualities. Muslims end or “break” their fast during Ramadan by eating a few dates, which shows how this fruit is related to Emirati people.
Dates are also associated with abundance, generosity, and thankfulness in Middle Eastern culture, making them an ideal gift for any occasion. For this reason, Arab families usually serve dates to visitors such as relatives, acquaintances, and coworkers.
Some varieties of delicious dates
Barhi Dates: Barhi Dates, which is also known as “Barhee”, are a popular kind that is best eaten fresh rather than dried. It’s noted for having thick flesh and a flavor that’s rich and delicious.
Dayri Dates: Dayri (also known as “Derrie”) is a soft, long, and red-colored date, which is considered that originated from Basra, Iraq. Its color gradually shifts from red to brown, then black. Although it has a sweet flavor, this cultivar does not have a strong, rich flavor. This makes it a great addition to both sweet and savory recipes.
Deglet Noor Dates: This specific date type has a sweet flavor and a “semi-dry” texture. An interesting tidbit about Degler Noor Dates is that its name translates to “Date of the Light” and it is because of the golden color of the fruit’s center when held up to the sun.
Khadrawy Dates: Khadrawy (sometimes “Khadrawi”) is a soft date variety that ranges in color from orange-brown to light brown. Most people prefer to eat it fresh because of its soft texture and excellent flavor.
Khudri Dates: This variety originates from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This dates type has a smooth texture and a dark brown color. Further, it somewhat has a sweet flavor, making it a tasty light snack that can also be used as a sugar alternative. Altogether, this is the perfect snack with no side effects!
Medjool Dates: This variety of dates is from Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. Medjool (also known as “Medjul” or “Madjool”) has a sweet taste and a golden to reddish-brown skin with a delicate yet fibrous texture.
Piarom Dates: This variety of dates has a sweet flavor and thin, dark skin. The fruit is recognized for having a high fructose content, making it an excellent sugar substitute that is also beneficial to persons with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Rabbi Dates: Rabbi dates are native to places in Sistan Baluchistan, Iran, and are considered one of the oldest and most flavorful varieties of dates. The fruit is sweet and fleshy, with a beautiful soft feel that melts in your mouth, and grows to be about 3 to 5 centimeters long. These dates make awesome snacks and can be added to bread, candy bars, cereals, ice cream, and pudding for a delicious twist.
With so many types and ways to eat dates, it’s no surprise that Emiratis consider them a “complete” snack, given their numerous health and nutritional benefits.