All ABOUT DATES
Dates have been celebrated for centuries across the globe - and for good reason!
As well as being incredibly delicious they boast an array of nutritional benefits, hold cultural, religious, and economic importance. Let's dive in to the details!
ANATOMY OF A DATE
- Exocarp: Also known as the skin or peel, is the outermost layer of the date fruit.
- Mesocarp: This the thick and fleshy middle layer of the date fruit - the tasty part!
- Endocarp: Commonly known as the seed or pit, this is the hard inner layer of the date fruit. It surrounds the seed and provides protection.
- Seed: Found within the endocarp, this is the reproductive part of the date fruit. The seed is not typically consumed as it's too hard and not all that tasty.
- Adhering Fruit Stalk: At the top of the date fruit, there is a small portion known as the adhering fruit stalk. It is the remnant of the stem that was attached to the tree.
- Syrinx: Inside the date fruit, there is a hollow tube-like structure known as the syrinx. It is a remnant of the floral tissue and extends from the base to the top of the fruit. The syrinx is often removed during processing and is usually not eaten.
WHAT'S IN A DATE?
A lot! We love dates for their delectable flavour, natural sweetness, and impressive nutritional content!
You can read more about the nutritional benefits and properties of dates on our Nutrition page.
The tree of life
It is believed that dates originated in the region of modern-day Iraq. Date palms (the trees dates grow on) were highly regarded in many civilizations in this region.
Date palms are often known as "The Tree of Life", inspired by the sustenance the fruit brings. However, they also held cultural, religious and economic significance.
Traders brought date palms to Spain, Northern Africa, and far beyond. As dates were introduced to more countries, the cultivation and celebration of them grew. New date palm cultivation prospered in regions with arid climates, and the popularity of dates continued to increase!
There are MANY different types of dates, each with their own characteristics. The colours vary from yellow, reddish-brown, to dark brown/almost black. Here are some of the more popular varieties!
Medjool Dates: These are often given the nickname "The Queen of Dates" due to their large size, soft texture, and rich, caramel-like flavour. They often have dark brown skin.
Deglet Noor Dates: Semi-dry and slightly chewy, Deglet Noor dates lend themselves well to snacking and baking due to their milder flavour. These dates are golden-amber in colour.
Barhi Dates: Small to medium-sized and a deep amber colour, Barhi dates are known for their soft, creamy texture. They are most commonly eaten fresh and have a butterscotch-like flavour.
Zahidi Dates: Yellow or light gold in colour and have a firm, chewy texture. Zahidi dates are less sweet and are popular in cooking and baking.
Halawy Dates: Smaller in size and have a soft, sticky texture. Halaway dates are often described as exceptionally sweet and rich, and for having a melt-in-the-mouth consistency.
Khadrawy Dates: Medium to large sized and dark brown or black in colour. These dates are also rich in flavour and are often used to make date paste.
We're OBSESSED with dates, and hopefully you can see why! If you want to learn more about us and our love of dates, check out our blog below!