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Fresh Date - Exotic Fruits
DescriptionThe fresh date is the edible fruit of the date palm Phoenix Dactylifera.
OriginsThe date palm is native to arid areas of the Middle East. In the last century, its fruits were the basic food of the Bedouin.
CharacteristicsThe date is a fleshy, oblong berry, which can measure between 4 to 6 cm. long and contains an elongated core marked with a longitudinal groove. Its nucleus, wrapped in the membranous endocarp, is actually a very hard seed. Its colour varies between yellow, golden or brownish red when ripe and its taste is similar to that of honey. Although there are more than three hundred of them, the most widespread variety in European markets is Deglet Nour, a variety of dates from the North African regions of Biskra and Tozeur. Europe also imports Kenta, Khouat Alig and Mejhoul, a Moroccan variety now replanted in Israel and the United States. It can be eaten as fresh or processed fruit for jams, desserts, juices, ice cream, among others.
Other factsDates are a good source of energy, but you have to eat them in small quantities and with caution if you have obesity or diabetes. In the United States it is used for the preparation of sweet recipes, while in Arab countries it is consumed as stuffed, candied, distilled, or for salads. In the Middle East it is used for the production of palm wines and in India for spices such as curry.
ProductionThe production of this fruit remains dynamic, 7.4 million tons of dates are harvested every year in the world. The date is the fifth most produced fruit in the arid and semi-arid regions, after citrus fruits, mango, banana and pineapple. It is at the head of nuts, before grapes, figs and raisins. It is produced in more than 30 countries, the most important being Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Pakistan, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Seasonality of the product