Monday, November 2, 2015

Popular Date Varieties.


Three main types of dates are grown:
Soft dates are mostly eaten fresh, are mild in flavor, with lower sugar content.
They're more common in the Middle East, though other world areas import them during Ramadan.
Hard dates are dry and fibrous even when fresh, hence the nicknames of "camel" dates or "bread" dates.
Drying intensifies their hard consistency and also their sweetness, and they'll last for years.
Nomads relied on these dates as staples, often grinding them into flour. Today, trekkers pack these firm dates as survival snacks.
Semi-dry dates are what most Westerners enjoy. They're aromatic, softer and chewier, with a pleasant level of sweetness.

There are thousands of named date varieties.
They fall into two main categories, soft and dry, and are most readily available from fall through winter.
The succulence of freshly picked dates will astonish anyone who has never tasted one before.

1. Khadrawi
Khadrawi is a classic soft variety, with a rich flavor that’s not too sweet.
Also Khadrawi. Rich, not overly sweet, flavored soft date. Medium to large oblong fruit with orange-brown to light-brown skin and firm flesh. Considered among the best in flavor and texture for eating fresh. Does not keep well so eat fresh, Ripens mid-season.

2. Dayri
A date for date lovers, it has a strong flavor with a hint of vanilla. Large and luxurious, it’s dry like a medjool but less sweet.
Heavy, sweet flavored soft date. Medium to large oblong soft-fleshed fruit with red skin that ripens to brown and then to black. Ripens midseason.

3. Amber
A dry date with a pretty color and shape, it has a very sweet cinnamon flavor.

4. Yellow Barhi
Barhi dates are unusual in that they can be eaten not fully ripe, when they have the crisp texture of an apple and a flavor that is fresh and slightly astringent. Yellow barhis are considered a delicacy in old-world date-growing regions. They are available during fall at Flying Disc Ranch.

5. Kustawi
This is a fine dessert date for eating out of hand, with an elegant “date-y” flavor that isn’t cloying.

6. Zahidi
Zahidi is sometimes known as the “butter date” for its pale color and subtle flavor. It’s a mild and likable variety for people who think they don’t like dates.
Sweet sugary flavored semi-dry date. Medium sized fruit with smooth, glossy skin and golden-yellow, meaty flesh full of syrup. Use for eating out of hand or cooking. Keeps well and very good for baking. Early ripening.

7. Medjool
Known as the “queen of dates” for its large size, pillowy texture, and very sweet, strong flavor, it is surely the most famous date in America, although its name means “unknown.” The variety is available at most specialty groceries year-round.
Also Medjul. Rich, deliciously sweet soft date with little fibrous texture. Large to very large fruit with amber to reddish-brown skin as it ripens and cures. Excellent for eating fresh, very moist. Early ripening.
Only 10 percent of date production is of the Medjool variety, the best-known of the soft dates. The Medjool is large -- up to 3 inches long -- and luscious. It's great for snacking and gift-giving. The Medjool was only introduced here from Morocco in the 1930s. It takes a long time to propagate new trees. Most new date plantings are of this superior variety, which brings a premium price.

8. Deglet Noor
The deglet noor is a prime example of the dry category. It’s chewy and medium-sweet, with a complex flavor that is nutty and evocative of brown sugar.
Sweet delicate flavored semi-dry date; known for its “true” date flavor. Medium to large fruit with a skin that turns from amber to deep brown as it ripens. Good for cooking. Name means “date of the light”. Late ripening.
In the U.S. more than 85 percent of the dates grown are a semi-dry variety called the Deglet Noor. It's a pretty good variety, but the main reason for its dominance is that it was the variety most easily available in 1913 when pioneers brought date shoots from Algeria. Deglet Noors, like most dates, are harvested already dried on the tree. They store well and are usually rehydrated before being sold. They are often used for baking.

9. Barhi
A fully ripe barhi shows the soft date varieties at their most sensual: luscious and full-bodied in flavor, with a delicate skin and melting texture. The taste is reminiscent of caramel pudding.
Syrupy rich soft date, the softest and most fragile. Small to medium fruit with firm flesh and skin that turns from amber to golden brown when cured. Late ripening.

10. Halawy.
Also Halawi. Sweet honey-flavored soft date.
Halawy means “sweet.”
Small to medium fruit with bright golden brown skin and tender flesh. Good for eating out of hand.
Ripens midseason.
During the study, volunteers regularly do a blood test and inspect the activities of kidney and liver.
The results showed that regular consumption of dates, madzhhol 8% reduces the level of harmful fats in the blood, the use of dates, Halawa - 15%. In addition, dates, Halawa help a 33% reduction in the level of oxidation of blood - a process that accelerates the aging body.
/В ходе исследования, волонтерам регулярно делали анализ крови, а также проверяли деятельность почек и печени. Результаты показали, что регулярное употребление фиников-маджхоль на 8% снижает уровень вредных жиров в крови, употребление фиников-халави - на 15%. Кроме того, финики-халави помогают на 33% снизить уровень окисления крови - процесс, ускоряющей старение тела. У "маджхоль" такого влияния выявлено не было./

11. Thoory.
Sweet, nutty flavored dry date. Known as the bread date because it is suited to baking. Medium to large oblong fruit with golden-brown flesh. Late ripening.

The health benefits of dates:

The most effective varieties are the yellow Barhi, Deri, Medjool and Halawi.
The other date varieties are Amari, Deglet, Noor, Hadrawi and Hayani.

it doesn’t matter if dates are eaten fresh or dried, but consuming silan – date syrup – can offer little improvement to healthy cardiovascular systems.
As silan is a sweet concentrate that does not contain fibers, it is far from the real thing.
Eating three dates a day does not raise blood sugar levels in healthy people, but it does reduce blood triglycerides and even “improves the quality” of blood cholesterol by reducing its oxidation.
These effects reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases.
Dates can bring about the slowing and even regression of atherosclerosis (accumulation of fatty plaque) in the coronary arteries, and that eating one of the the three specific date varieties is most effective.
Dates have a high sugar content, but as they are also a rich source of fiber, they attach themselves to harmful, oxygen-free radicals and remove them from the body.
They also have an abundance of minerals such as potassium, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects were noted, even though nothing was known about how this worked.

Note:
I like Medjools but, my favorite is the Halawy.
They don't look special; they're medium to small and more wrinkled than most other dates.
The Halawy's light amber to golden flesh has a caramel-like texture and a rich, sweet, distinctive flavor.
You rarely find them at mainstream markets but can purchase them by mail order.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/j1851e/j1851e08.htm#P130_21345

Prevents anaemia: Iron is an essential nutrient required by our body to prevent anaemia. It helps our red blood cells carry oxygen better to various body parts which help in their better functioning. Lack of iron can leave you feeling fatigued even after doing the smallest of tasks. Eating khajur can beat this deficiency.

From the primeval banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the date palm has provided the Phoenix dactylifera - the botanical name for dates - as an important food and medicinal source throughout the world.

Iron for your blood, fiber for roughage, vitamin A for your eyes, potassium for your heart, B-vitamins, tannins - these are just a few of the many nutrients in dates, making them one of the healthiest foods in the world. They have a noble history that healers have used through centuries for many of the same properties they're used for today.

Dates contain high levels of sugar, and the researchers were surprised to discover that a diet rich in dates did not bring about an increase in blood sugar level.

Dates are a wonderful snack all by themselves.
But make sure you eat them in moderation, as fruits can contain high levels of fructose that can harm your health.
For a new twist, try stuffing them with a mixture of chopped raw almonds and walnuts, and raw cream cheese for a delicious, nutritious – and completely unique – hors d'oeuvre.


Note:
In Arabic, the Maghreb means "where and when the sun sets."
The region, which includes Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, is part of both Africa and the Arab world, and it enjoys a special relationship with Europe, thanks to geographical proximity, colonial history, and economic ties.

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