Tuesday, October 03, 2017
I was at a friend's majlis the other day and he had a gift for me:
Dates from his palm trees. It was his first harvest from the trees at his home. Not that the trees were young, it takes time for a palm tree to mature enough to produce dates. The trees were from his father's farm, which were dug up and transported to his home.
I bet you are thinking, "Those are dates? They don't look ripe". To us foreigners perhaps, yes, they don't look like ripe dates, ripe dates are dark brown and wrinkly. For Arabs dates have varying stages of ripeness and many prefer eating them before they have reached that brown, wrinkly stage (called "tamr" in Arabic). This old blog post of mine gives a bit more detail about those stages. The dates my friend gave me looks like they are in the "bessar" stage. They will become more ripe over time but my friend said they are great to eat now. I've tried them and eating crunchy, unsweet dates is just not for me. I'll wait awhile longer to let them get more ripe.
As for what variety the dates are they are a local variety called "barhi". I haven't seen this variety in stores here but searching the internet they are sold in other places. My popular blog post "Varieites of Dates" didn't have this particular cultivar. I won't be adding it at the moment, the dates would need to reach the tamr stage if I were to try to compare them to the others.