Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our World: Strung Dates

These are dates that have been pitted, strung, and dried.  Dates have long been a very popular staple in Middle Eastern diets and are usually offered in Saudi homes to guests who come visiting.  There are many varieties of dates, which are produced by the date palm tree.  They can range in color from a very light brown, to reddish or golden brown, to almost black, and their level of sweetness can vary as well.  Saudi Arabia is the world's 2nd largest producer of dates, as dates thrive in desert climates and conditions. 

Different kinds of dates are eaten at different stages of ripeness depending on when they are harvested.  In Arabic, dates are known by their state of ripeness.  Unripe is known as kimri.  The 2nd stage is called khalal, where the date is crunchy and large.  The 3rd stage of ripeness is known as rutab, which describes dates that are soft and ripe.  And finally, ripe and sun-dried dates are called tamr.

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Dina said...

Date necklaces! :) Good idea. I've never seen our tamarim strung.
Thanks for the vocabulary too. It's like all the nuanced words Eskimos have for snow.

n said...

They dont look like it but they are quiet yummy. i wonder which country is the largest producer of dates?

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi Dina - I just call them necklaces because they look like that to me. I've never actually seen anyone wearing them around their necks!

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi N - Egypt ranks #1 in the largest producer of dates in the world. I've read conflicting reports about #2, so let's just say that KSA, Iran, and UAE follow closely behind.