Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 02/06/22
|Food Buzz: History of Dates|
|Food Fable: Dates|
Zaghloul dates grow by the dozens on long yellow stems. They are typically harvested in the semi-ripe khalal stage and look almost like bunches of giant red grapes. Each large, plump date has an elongated oval shape and measures roughly 7 centimeters long. They have a deep red to burgundy skin with a bright white, crisp flesh, like that of an apple with one long, central pit. The flesh is fiberless Zaghloul dates are sweet with a hint of astringency and offer notes of cinnamon and sugar cane.
Zaghloul dates are available in the fall through winter months.
Zaghloul dates, also known as Red dates, are rare and not widely available in the United States. They are botanically classified as Phoenix dactylifera and are the fruit of the date palm tree. Like barhi dates, they are unique in that they can be eaten at any of the three stages of ripeness, khalal, rotab or tamr, though they are most often eaten in the first stage. Zaghloul dates are just one of several different varieties grown in the Middle East that are consumed in the semi-ripened stage.
Zaghloul dates contain high amounts of dietary fiber, potassium, iron and B-complex vitamins. They are a good source of vitamins A and K, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols, like tannins, which provide powerful antioxidant benefits. The dates also contain calcium, sodium and phosphorus.
Zaghloul dates are most often eaten fresh, as a snack or dessert, or they are used raw or cooked. Once they have been pitted, they can be stuffed, baked, grilled, wrapped or pureed. Add chopped, raw Zaghloul dates to salads or smoothies for a natural sweetener. Use them in recipes calling for other date varieties. Stuff the center with soft cheese or nuts, wrap them in bacon and bake or grill. Use Zaghloul dates to flavor syrups, desserts and ice cream, or dip them in chocolate and top with a pinch of salt. They can be used to make jelly or jams. If left out at room temperature, Zaghloul dates will mature to the rotab stage. They can be refrigerated at either the semi-ripe or ripe stages and will last for up to 2 months.
Zaghloul dates are not only harvested by hand, they are also pollinated by hand. Whereas most dates grown in the United States are harvested by machine, barefoot pickers use a simple rope harness affixed with a basket to harvest the red fruits. Pickers are trained as early as 6 or 7 years-old to climb the sometimes 30-foot date palm trees to get to the clusters of hanging fruit above.
Zaghloul dates are native to Egypt and are grown in Israel and India. Dates were cultivated as early as 4000 BCE in Egypt, and earlier in Pakistan and eastern Arabia. Today, the largest production of Zaghloul dates is in the Kutch district of India, located on the west coast along the southern Pakistan border. The city of Bhuj is host to dozens of farms producing Zaghloul dates. They are also grown in the Gaza Strip in Israel. Zaghloul dates are available through online retailers and are typically shipped all over the world. They may be spotted in Middle Eastern markets, particularly in Europe, Southeast Asia and Canada.
Recipes that include Zaghloul Dates. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Epicurious||Date Ice Cream (Buza ‘Ala-Tamr)|