During Ramadan, people fast between sunrise and sunset, during fasting the body can develop low blood sugar and you can suffer with lethargy and headaches. Dates contain slow releasing carbohydrates and an excellent source of fibre, sugar, magnesium and potassium. Breaking the fast is called Iftar and dates and milk are traditionally eaten to break the fasting.
Living in Dubai we are surrounded by date palms in our neighbourhood. These palms require unto 40 litres of water a day in order to produce dates, sadly the palm we have in the garden doesn't produce dates and is considerably taller than the date producing palms in the area.
Date palms typically reach up to 23 meters in height, with leaves, fronds, up to 6 meters long.
The date palm Phoenix dactylifera originates in the Middle East, most likely Iraq, and has been cultivated for 1000's of years, it is a staple fruit and dates are known as the food Muhammad ate when he broke first.
All of the date palms I've seen have been around 12 meters high with the fruits growing around 1 meter from the ground. The date branch is tied to one of the fronds due to the weight of the dates and to stop them snapping off. Most of the dates are bagged in mesh to stop them falling onto the ground as they ripen, making them easier to harvest.
I was fortunate enough to be given a tray of fresh dates by one of my students from her garden, I was hesitant at first when I opened the pot as there was a strange smell of rotting fruit and the dates looked bruised, with soft spots on their flesh. I've only ever eaten dried dates that you traditionally see in the UK in boxes around Christmas times.
When I ate one I was surprised at soft and fresh the fruit tasted, it is very fleshy and stringy in texture but even the skin just dissolved in your mouth and it was one of the sweetest fruits I've ever tasted.
Isn't it interesting that we get so used to eating the preserved versions that when we get the fresh ones we wonder if they are good LOLReplyDelete
In Nigeria people tend to break their fast with fruits - bananas are a popular choice and oranges
Ps: I didn't know dates grew on palm like trees.. Now I know. Thank youDelete
I guess it's the sugar that helps the mostDelete
wow. so interesting and smart that they put the bunches in mesh bags. those look delicious. i am a big date fanReplyDelete
They need eating very quickly so I guess that's why they get driedDelete
Love finding out more about dates. Now must try and taste a fresh one soon.ReplyDelete
I'd suggest a local market as they are in season nowDelete
I know some people in the UK who are really struggling this year with Ramadan as it has fallen in June and the days are so long. I've never eaten a fresh date before but I have seen them at the continental market that comes here twice a year.ReplyDelete
It's the hottest time of the year here and around 14 hours of daylight, but what we do have in Dubai is reduced working hours and laws about working outsideDelete
I hope there are no Muslims staying in Alaska in summer.. They currently have 16mins of darkness in 24 hoursDelete
In Saudi they recommend you follow the same daylight hours as they doDelete
This is really interesting as I never really thought exactly how dates grew and always thought they'd be much higher up. Fresh ones sound delicious! #HDYGGReplyDelete
there are some date palms on the main road that are around 20 meters high with dates growing and someone has climbed up to tie and bag them while they ripenDelete
That's dedication for you.Delete
I learn so much from your blog always! This is the first time that I saw dates in a tree. They look and sounds amazing =) #hdyggReplyDelete
Thank you, I knew they grew on palm trees but had never seen themDelete
We love dates in Ramadan. Only a few shops here do good ones so we have to stock up a bit! :)ReplyDelete
The muslim teachers, outside of Ramadan share dates and coffee with me daily, some of it is not for me taste wise, but they insist I tryDelete
Really interesting. I've learnt a few things about dates.ReplyDelete
thank you, I was amazed to find out so muchDelete
Oh boy oh boy I'm feeling really peckish now!ReplyDelete
Really interesting stuff Suzanne x
Reading this from Heathrow, my trip to Sierra Leone with World Vision is tomorrow xx
they are very fillingDelete
I'm probably going to sound like a total idiot, but I had no idea that dates grew on trees! I've learnt something new today! xxReplyDelete
those loads of things about Dubai and what goes on here that has surprised meDelete
When did you move to Dubai? Realising how long I've been out of the 'gardening loop'. I've spent quite a lot of time there so am really interested to read about living there.ReplyDelete
it's been 18 months now....lolDelete