What nutrients are there in the dates? A lot indeed! Here are sweet, delicious fruits from the tropical oasis, brimming with much-needed minerals and energy to help you stay fit and healthy.
Botanically; they are the fruits grow on the palm tree belonging to the family of Arecaceae, in the genus: Phoenix, and scientifically named as Phoenix dactylifera. The tree is believed to originate in the lands on the banks of Nile and Euphrates Rivers of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Date palm is now grown extensively for its edible fruits under warmer climates across all the continents.
The date fruit is a “drupe”, in which its outer fleshy part (exocarp and mesocarp) surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. The fruit is oval to cylindrical in shape, 3–7 cms long, and 2–3 cms diameter, and ripe dates range from golden-yellow, amber, bright-red to deep-brown depending on the cultivar type.
There are many varieties of date palm cultivated. ‘Rotab (Mazafati)’, ‘Zahedy’ and ‘Piarom’ are some of the important varieties popular for their rich taste, flavor, and superior quality.
High quality dates generally handpicked directly from the fruit-bunch and sold as premium variety in the markets. On a commercial scale, most are harvested by cutting the entire cluster, fumigated, cleaned, graded, packed, stored under refrigeration, and released to markets according to demand.