Dates are one of those fruits that children of all ages love so it is always a good idea to have them on hand but are you aware that there are many different types of dates!
You probably get your dates from the market without much thinking since these are a great addition in numerous recipes or by themselves; dates make the perfect afternoon snack and the best part these offer key nutrients which translate into benefits for our health.
There are many different ways you can enjoy dates, you can have them dried or fresh; many use them as a natural sweetener taking advantage of that delicate and signature caramel flavor. Dates are also known to promote brain health and have a high content in antioxidants which help us fight diseases. You probably knew that but did you know that there are over 20 different types!
Dates come from all over the world, and there are actually 25 different types! Today we’ll be covering all of them and much more, including, how to properly store them so you can get the best out of your date needs at home.
Types Of Dates
Dates which come from the date palm tree, are one of the oldest fruits grown in what is now known as Iraq, taking a key role in Western cuisine and is currently popular all over; the reason why is perhaps known as ‘The Tree of Life’ in some countries.
Without further ado check out the different types of dates.
These dates are considered a superfood and offer an amazingly soft texture and a sweet taste with a hint of cinnamon that delights just about everybody. You can obtain these in a king size and are believed to have healing properties. Ajwa is also one of the most expensive types of dates.
These types of dates are natives of Saudi Arabia and are recognized for their big size and hailed for their healing properties. Ambera which are squishy and fleshy is viewed as one of the finest of the Medina region.
If you enjoy flavors such as brown sugar, butterscotch, syrup, or caramel; then this is the type of date you should go for. Barhi dates have rigid skin and a buttery and soft inside, these are the smallest among all the dates.
Dayri dates offer a sweet flavor and can be found in medium and large sizes presenting an egg shape. Their skin color is red, when matured it turns amber and they end up golden after being cured.
Deglet Noor Dates
Also known as the date of the night, this is a semi-dry type of date that provides a sweet and subtle flavor. Its skin ripens to a dark brown and is suitable for preparing food. Deglet Noor dates are viewed as the ‘queen of all dates’ and are ideal in baking goods.
Dried dates can last up to a year or more and you can also keep them frozen for a few years. These have a pleasant robust flavor and hold iron, calcium, and vitamins. Dried dates are a fantastic energy source.
These types of dates have tender flesh and dark golden skin, offering a heavy caramel-like flavor. These wrinkled babies are popular in salty dishes and ideal for a cheese platter with a glass of wine.
Iteema is native of Algeria, offering a super sweet flavor, these are super sweet and can be found in a large size and shape.
Hailing from Oman, these dates are black with a round shape and small size. Kalmi can not be missed during Ramadan providing just the right amount of sweetness. These are known to have a high content of potassium and minerals.
Khadrawy is tender but moderately sweet, hence these are viewed as having the right combination of taste and texture that will melt in your mouth. When ready to be consumed these become a light brownish shade, have a relatively big size and are cylindrical in shape.
Khola dates are popularly enjoyed paired up with Arabic coffee. These have the signature sweet caramel taste, with a golden brown with somewhat transparent rind. Khola makes the perfect quick snack since these have an elevated content of minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
These types of dates present a dark color with a super wrinkled rind offering a sweet flavor. Khudri can be found in both small and big sizes. These are an affordable date type that carries multiple benefits such as lowering the risk of cancer and promoting heart health.
The Mabroom dates are known to be of superior quality, these have a leathery texture with the most perfect sweet taste offering a slew of antioxidants and minerals. Mabroon is thinner than other types and is considered a delicacy.
With a sturdy skin, Maktoom dates have a large form and are a blend of red and brown color. These are perfect for those who like dates but are not into super sweet flavors.
Medjool are sweet and simply succulent, these have a tender rind and a hefty texture. Mejdool can be up to three inches and have a red and brown color when fully matured. These are highly recommended to eat fresh because they are very moist and sticky interior making them ideal for stuffing dishes or even energy snacks.
Also known as Mejraf dates, these are of superior quality and very popular with Yemen natives. These are big in size and present a brownish-yellow color.
These types of dates are the typical sugary flavor, dark-colored and packed with vitamins. These are originally from Medinah and offer tons of curative properties. Experts advise to eat them first thing in the morning.
Commonly grown in Riyadh, this date type is not as tender but rather crunchy with a brown shade.
These types of dates do well in hot temperatures and are commonly found in Libya.
Semi-soft are collected when they are unripe. They have a sturdy interior, examples of these are the Medjool, the Zahidi and Deglet Noor dates.
These are picked when they are unripe and soft.
This a premium type date offering a sweet flavor and crispy texture; widely regarded for its curative and nutritious content. These are known as the ‘king of the dates’ and translated sukkari means sweet.
This type of dry date with sturdy skin and chewy consistency, which offers a nutty and sweet taste making it ideal for all your baking needs. These are often included in granolas.
These are an economic type of date with a sweet taste and brown shade, big in size and known for having small seeds.
These are of a medium size providing a great sugary taste, Zahidi is a type of semi-dry date and has a glowy and yellowish rind.
How To Keep Dates Fresh?
When talking about dates you can purchase them fresh or dried; the latter is more versatile, easier to store, and offer an extended shelf life.
Dried dates can be stored at room temperature for up to six months, while fresh dates should be consumed as soon as possible.
Retaining their moisture is what you should keep in mind when trying to keep your dates fresh. This is important for quality flavor purposes since dates taste their best when they have some moisture in them.
Here are some tips to keep your dates fresh:
- Put your dates in an airtight container and place the container in a cool place
- Placing your dates in vacuum bags (if you have any) is also a good idea to keep them fresh
- Dry dates can be stored in the kitchen cupboard, however for this to be effective make sure sunlight is out of reach
- Keep them away from the stove and oven or any other device that produces heat
How To Store Dates So They Stay Fresh For Longer?
If you want to keep your dried dates for longer, then you can perfectly store them in the fridge for up to 12 months.
When talking about soft or fresh dates; these must be stored in a refrigerator as leaving them outside can affect their quality and taste. Fresh dates should be refrigerated and consumed within one month.
Can You Freeze Dates?
You can absolutely freeze your dried and fresh dates. Frozen fresh dates should be consumed within six weeks once thawed.
In order to freeze your dates, just follow a couple of simple steps:
- Using a freezer bag, remove the air out of the bag
- Put your dates in it
- Seal tight (you could also use an airtight container or plastic jar)
You can also store dried dates in the freezer for up to 3 years.
What To Do With Dates Before They Go Bad?
Dates do not go bad that quickly. You can store them for more than a month at room temperature and for more than a year in the freezer. If kept in the wrong conditions, however, this will go bad eventually.
If you notice any changes in color or any signs of mold, smell, or see any bugs, then you should get rid of them. But before that happens, there are tons of different ways you can enjoy your dates. Check out below some of our favorite recipes using dates.
Our Favorite And Easiest Date Recipes
Peaches and Cream Smoothie to take to Work
Are you constantly on the go? Then try this fantastic peaches and cream smoothie to take to work so you can still have a delicious and nutritious breakfast!
Spoonable smoothies are those rich-flavored, extra thick smoothies that you not only can’t drink with a straw but would be a crime.
You must eat them, slowly, with a spoon! This amazing Choco banana peanut butter smoothie is one of those, that you just hope never ends, but no worries, this one is so easy to make, you can have one after the other in no time!