What Kind of Fruit is a Date

Dates are ripe fruits from the Phoenix dactylifera or date palm. Date palm trees are mostly found in Northern African and Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Iran. They are one of the major food items in Middle East cuisine and culture. Besides this, dates are one of the oldest cultivated foods in the world. Despite being native in Middle Eastern countries, dates can be found in other hot climate areas. In United States of America, dates are grown in California, Texas, Florida and Nevada.

Instructions

  • 1

    History

    Dates are mentioned in 3rd millennium BC in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Besides this, it became a survival food for tribes travelling throughout the Middle East. They also showed themselves on Egyptian hieroglyphics. Palms were also drawn in many ancient paintings and were used as motif for mosaics in ancient Rome.

  • 2

    Types

    There are several types of dates but Ajwa dates are the most special ones especially to Muslims. It is mentioned in their holy book ‘Quran’ and it has many benefits to health. Other types of dates are according to their native countries. Moroccan Medjool are one of the well known dates in market. Other types include Algeria’s Deglet Noor, Libya’s Zahidi and Iraq’s Bahri and Derrie.

  • 3

    Growth

    Date fruits are grown on female date palms. They are fruits of date palm tree also known as Phoenix dactylifera. Remember that it requires almost five to eight years for a date palm to grow dates.

  • 4

    Uses

    Best way of consumption of date is when they are fresh. However, they are commonly found dried and pitted. Dates are served as deserts because of their sugary and sweet taste. Dried dates have their nutritious value and their freshness can be stored for months. Pitted dates on the other hands can be stuffed with all kinds of nuts, marzipan or even candied orange peel. They can also be used in baking and savoury dishes. Its paste can be used as a sweetener and even as an alternative to cane sugar.

  • 5

    Nutrition value

    Dates have high nutritious value. They are rich in Vitamins such as Vitamin A and K. Beside this they are rich in thiamin, pantothenic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Remember that dates might be rich in nutrition but they have high natural sugars. Thus diabetic people and people on diet should not consume it more.

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