Golden Dates

Fresh Dates Variety – “Barhi” - The Golden Dates

DATES HEALTH BENEFITS

Barhi originates from Basrash, Iraq, and is also found in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and now in India. The palm is characterized by heavy trunk of a medium height, moderately curved green leaves, slightly drooping pinnae and gives high yields between 100 – 250 kg per mature palm. The palm has a dusty greenish colour and looks dense and spherical.

At maturity the fruit colour is opaque yellow (± apricot yellow to near antimony yellow) and the internal colour of the bunch is pale. The fruit is medium sized, shaped broadly ovate to somewhat rounded, commonly with a wedge shaped taper from middle to bluntly pointed apex. Calyx flattened and a little submerged, rounded-triangular, usually with 1 to 3 slight breaks in margin. The fruit length (± 25 mm) with a diameter (± 20 mm); and weight between 15 – 18 grams. Flavour is rich and delicate with a low total soluble solids (± 30 %). Flesh is thick and juicy. The seed fills the whole volume of the seed cavity. Light brown to wood brown; oblong, slightly wider above middle, somewhat tapering to the blunt apex. It is short and wide. Germ pore central or nearly so and can be clearly seen at the centre of seed's dorsal side. Furrow commonly medium in width and depth. The seed ratio includes a light seed weight and a high pulp.

The harvesting season of Barhi date starts around mid to end of July and continues for up to six weeks depending on weather conditions. Each date bunch is cut and lowered to the ground by using ropes. In order to produce finest quality fresh dates, large paper bags are wrapped around each date bunch in order to keep off the rain and also to deter birds, sunshine, and insects from ruining the fresh ripen dates.

Dates are extremely nutritious, containing more natural sugar than any other fruit. The fruits contain protein, Vitamin A, and some of the B vitamins. Dates also yield a substantial amount of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as many other valuable vitamins and minerals. Being high in potassium, they can be used, instead of bananas, by those using diuretics that rob the system of mineral. However, they are a most unusual fruit as they contain almost no Vitamin C. Dates can be eaten raw or cooked.

Until a few years ago, only dried dates were available outside their native lands; but now fresh dates are produced and available in India and are also exported. Before that time, dates were often smoked to hasten uniform ripening which, not only made them sweeter, but helped to preserve them enough to travel, as fresh dates do not travel well. Of the more than 350 varieties of dates available, only a few are exported, and these are seldom sold according to variety.

Dates are classified according to their fleshiness. This is an arbitrary classification, but is convenient. Dates can be eaten at all different stage of ripeness.