The date is the edible fruit of the date palm tree. It is a distinct sweet and delicious fruit that groups in warm tropical regions the world over. It has been eaten by the Arabs as a staple food primarily in the Middle East and is now widespread virtually everywhere around the world.
The plant with the scientific name Phoenix dactylifera comes from the Arecaceae family. The tree is believed to have originated from the regions around Iraq, ancient Mesopotamia or around the Nile regions. It grows best in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
The tree grows to about 20 to 25 meters tall with leaves the reach 4 to 6 meters long. Each leaf bears about 150 leaflets which reach about 30 centimeters long. The leaves are clustered around the top at the crown of the tree. The plant does best in well-drained sandy soil free from calcium carbonate.
The fruit which is a A drupe, also known as stone fruit which is a fruit which has an outer fleshy part that surrounds a shell. Typical examples include fruits such as coffee, mango, olive, pistachio, and coconut. The shell is also called a stone, pyrene or pit.... More grows to about 3 to 7 centimeters long and 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter. They contain a single stone and ripen to bright red or yellow in color.
There are three cultivar varieties, soft, semi-dry, and dry. The types depend on the glucose, fructose, and sucrose content. They all start to bear fruit between 4 and 8 years after cultivation. Generally, dates ripen in four stages namely (In Arabic) kimri (unripe), khlal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried).
The trees can produce between 70 and 140 kilograms of yield per harvest season which spreads over several harvests as not all the fruit ripens at the same time.
The world’s top producers of dates are Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan respectively. Other nations include the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Sudan, South Sudan, and Oman.
The date fruits can be found in stores all year long but the best quality can be found from September to December. They can be sold either soft, semi-dry, or dried. They are generally stored in glass jars and can keep for several months at home stored in an airtight jar in a cool and dark place.
How to Prepare the Date for Consumption
Dates are usually sold in stores ready to eat. Should you buy from marketplaces, one should take some time to wash them under running water to remove dirt and soil particles.
The dry and soft dates are usually eaten out of hand as a delicious and refreshing snack. The pitted dates are usually stuffed with other ingredients such as nuts like almonds and walnuts. They can also be stuffed with cream cheese or candied orange and other Citrus in cooking refers to the fruits and by-products of flowering plants that produce citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, citron, and limes. These fruits are notable for their fragrance contained in the rind. The other notable characteristic of these plants is the presence of high quantities of citric acid contained in the juice and are a good... More fruits.
They can also be added to fruit A salad is a mixture of small to medium pieces of ready to eat ingredients mixed together and topped with a sauce or dressing. They are preferred cold with few exceptions served warm. The dressing is usually sweet and sour in nature or can be salted and spiced. Salad ingredients range widely but most commonly they include vegetables, fruits, cooked... More, savory A salad is a mixture of small to medium pieces of ready to eat ingredients mixed together and topped with a sauce or dressing. They are preferred cold with few exceptions served warm. The dressing is usually sweet and sour in nature or can be salted and spiced. Salad ingredients range widely but most commonly they include vegetables, fruits, cooked... More in small quantities. They can be found in Christmas puddings, sweet bread, cakes, buns, and various other middle eastern dishes. Generally, you want to follow the respective A recipe is a set of instructions that describe how to prepare a culinary dish and covers the ingredients and method. It consists of the name of the dish, the time it will take to prepare, the individual ingredients and the amounts needed to make the dish. Instructions covering the preparation method, the number of servings the flavor and texture... More on quantities and methods to use in different dishes.
Commercially the date can be turned into juice, A syrup or sirup is a condiment that is a thick viscous liquid consisting of a solution of sugar in water. They can be made by milking pine trees or by reducing naturally sweet juices. The common examples include such as sugar cane juice, sorghum juice or maple sap. Syrup can also be made by mixing any of the forms... More, Vinegar is a liquid which consists of a mix of acetic acid and water. Usually, the acetic acid varies from around 5% to 20% of the mixture. Many of the varieties used for culinary purposes come with additional flavorings as additives. The acetic acid is normally made by fermenting ethanol by bacteria. Vinegar in Culinary art is commonly used to... More, and Alcohol is an colorless organic flammable liquid that is intoxicating if ingested. It is the same intoxicating agent in "alcoholic" drinks such as beer, spirits, wine and others. There are several types of alcohol but in culinary arts we usually exclusively refer to the type named ethanol. To make ethanol one usually needs to ferment a sugar solution by the... More. It is also an ingredient in the HP A sauce is a liquid or semi-solid food served on other foods or used to cook other foods. Sauces are not normally served as foods on their own. They are used to enhance other dishes by adding flavor and texture. The sauce is derived from the French word salsa which means salted though they may be sweet or savory in... More A condiment is an additive that is added to food during preparation to impart a particular flavor to it. It can consist of a spice, sauce or other ingredients with substantial flavors that can be transferred to the target food. They are also used to enhance foods flavor or complement the dish. They can include items such as ketchup, mustard,... More.
Nutritional and Health Benefits
Dates are rich in dietary Fiber also referred to as dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It comes either soluble in water or insoluble. They are normally resistant to absorption in the human digestive tract. They are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps increase bulk in ingested foods, softens stool and shortens the total time... More, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients. They contain no cholesterol and give out 277 A calorie is a unit of energy used in several fields. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at one atmospheric pressure or the pressure at sea level. When relating to food, Calories with capital "C", also known as the food calorie the same energy as 1000... More per 100 grams. They contain trace amounts of oils and fats.
They are a good source of the b-complex vitamins such as Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin used by animals to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Major food sources include dried mushrooms, liver, dried egg yolks and sunflower seeds among others. Pantothenic acid deficiency is extremely rare but symptoms include impaired energy production, irritability, fatigue, and... More, Pyridoxine is also known as pyridoxol or vitamin B6 and can be gotten from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It helps prevent confusion, ulcerations, conjuctivitis, intertigo and neuropathy among others. Alcoholics and the elderly are usually the demographics that tend to have increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency.... More, Niacin is also known as Nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 and is useful for the prevention of nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and exhaustion. It is also useful in the regulation of high cholesterol in the system. It an be found mainly in protein foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes.... More, and Folates are also known as Folic acid or vitamin B9 is good for DNA synthesis and is essential for alleviating Anemia and in pregnant women infant neural tube defects. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Steam cooking helps retain more of the vitamin during cooking. You can also get it from... More. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds like retinol, retinoic acid provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene and is important for growth, immune system and good vision especially in low-light and color vision. It can be found in several foods including liver, cod liver oil, carrot, green vegetables, butter, milk sweet potato, Cheese and fish among others.... More.
The date fruit is a rich source of Potassium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Phosphorus. Others are Calcium and Zinc.