If someone asks you to distinguish different types of dates and you don’t know how to start, I have got your back! Although dates come out in various kinds, you can name all of them in just a few minutes after reading this humble article.
This post will show you various date varieties with particular characteristics relating to flavors, colors, and appearances. You will know how to utilize them in your daily diet to achieve the best result. Wait no further; check this information now!
What Are Dates, And Why Should You Use Them In Culinary?
Have you ever applied dates in your recipes, and do they bring you a satisfying feeling? This delicious brown food has become more and more popular in the world in recent years. Let’s take a look to understand better about this ingredient.
Dates are a variety of stone fruit (a stone-like pit that contains the seed surrounded by the flesh) used widely in Middle Eastern cuisine, such as flavorful Lebanese signature foods. You can find this variety of fruit in many regions, such as South Asia, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.
Known for their sweet and intensive caramel-like taste and chewy texture, dates contain high sugar content and are excellent in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This ingredient offers numerous health benefits.
Dates – a fruit starting with the D letter are an ideal sugar replacement. You can utilize them as a snack or an extra flavor booster in various baked goods and other dishes. This ingredient will help you promote brain health, support gut health, and control blood sugar.
Coming from the date palm tree, dates are often grown in large clusters. Depending on their varieties, their color will range from bright red to bright yellow. If dates come out with smooth skin, it means they are fresh. A wrinkled skin indicates they are dried.
If you want to know more about the benefits of dates, check here for more details.
Iran is one of the countries in the Middle East famous for dates. Therefore, finding some Iranian delicacies with dates is not hard. Let’s look at some specific dates here to understand their characteristics and flavors.
|Types Of Dates||Origin||Texture And Flavor||Color And Shape||Uses Or Pairings|
|Rabbi Dates||Balochistan and Kerman, Iran|
|Kabkab Dates||Iran||Like other types of dates|
|Lulu Dates||Southern region of Iran|
|Mazafati Dates||Kerman, Iran|
|Piarom Dates||Iran and other Middle East regions|
1. Rabbi Dates
Rabbi dates are semi-dry dates possessing soft flesh sticking to their thin and meaty skin. A product of Balochistan and Kerman, Iran, these dates have a low moisture content and a characteristic reddish black color.
They are long and medium in size with a deliciously sweet taste. You can serve them as a snack or a dessert. It is also suitable for you to pair with cereals, bread, ice cream, and cakes.
These delicious dates offer significant health benefits. Because of their high mineral content and other rich nutrients, they can help you improve digestive and bone health.
2. Kabkab Dates
One of the most economical prices in Iran, Kabkab dates have a sweet taste and a velvety texture. They are often long and round in shape and large in size. The color of this fruit is not fixed. These dates can range from light brown to dark brown when ripening.
Kabkab dates are the beloved dates used in the food industry and bakery. Appearing with a thick shell, these dates are delicious, full of syrup, and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. You will find this type of fruit in the market in the form of pitted and unpitted.
3. Lulu Dates
Let’s continue the interesting list today with another popular date in southern regions of Iran, Lulu dates. Lulu dates have a moderate level of sweetness, making them a perfect choice to incorporate into various types of meals and baked goods.
These semi-dry dates come out with a wrinkled appearance. They have a dark brown color and are round in shape. The flesh of this fruit is soft and meaty, which is considered similar to that of Piarom dates.
Many people call these fruits “plum dates” due to their signature small size. If you need a good substitute for sugar or a natural sweet hint for your Middle Eastern-style desserts, consider Lulu dates to enhance your experience.
4. Mazafati Dates
Mazafati dates are one of the oldest fruits in Iran. This date type originates from Bam, a city and capital in Kerman, Iran. Therefore, you can call them Bam dates, as many people do. Mazafati dates grow well in subtropical and tropical regions.
When raw, these Mazafati dates are often bright yellow or red, but they will gradually turn dark brown when they ripen. They are high humidity and have thick flesh with thin skin. You can eat them even when they are fresh or dried.
They will provide you with a sweet and caramel-like taste with a definite note of chocolate. Furthermore, Mazafati dates give you a hint of brown sugar. You can use them to make syrup for breakfast or evening meals.
These medium-sized dates are also good to stuff with cheese or serve with dairy products like milk. These oval fruits contain various nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, making them suitable for a healthy lifestyle.
Discover the harvesting and packaging process of Mazafati dates.
5. Piarom Dates
Another semi-dry date that I would like to share with you is Piarom dates, also known as “Maryami dates” or “Chocolate dates”. Coming from Iran and some other regions in the Middle East, Piarom dates are one of the most expensive types of dates worldwide.
These fruits often appear from small to medium size with dark brown to dark color. They have a low moisture content with a naturally sweet flavor. Moreover, their toffee or caramel-like taste sets them apart from regular types of dates.
These long dates are ideal if you are looking for a good addition to your cereals, puddings, cookies, or even ice creams. Otherwise, you can stuff these oval fruits with nuts for a wonderful snack to please your taste.
7 Dates From Iraq To Make Your Taste Bud Happy
Besides Iran, Iraq is equally famous for the production of dates with many Iraqi dishes including dates. But is there any difference between dates in Iraq and dates in Iran? Check this out now for the answer.
|Types Of Dates||Origin||Texture And Flavor||Color And Shape||Uses Or Pairings|
|Barhi Dates||Basra, Iraq||Make salads|
|Honey Dates||Iraq||Sweet treats, etc.|
|Dayri Dates||Southern Iraq|
|Zahedi Dates||Northern Iraq|
6. Barhi Dates
Barhi dates, also called Barhee dates, are often small to medium in size. Their flavor and texture will vary depending on their stages of ripeness. Barhi dates are golden yellow when semi-ripe, with a smooth, solid surface and a fibrous substance.
The hue of the fruits will change from amber to mahogany brown as they fully ripen, with a wrinkled surface. Originating from Basra, a city in Iraq, Barhi dates spread widely to California. These dates feature a round or oval shape with a syrupy flavor.
Many people liken their taste to brown sugar, butterscotch, and caramel. They are deliciously sweet and reward the nickname “honey ball.” It’s difficult to ship this date because these fruits are very soft and fragile.
You can serve these fruits independently or pair them with fresh fruits to make a perfect fruit salad. Their thick and creamy interior blended perfectly with the rich and delicate flavor will keep your taste buds happier than ever.
7. Halawy Dates
Halawy dates (aka Halawi dates) are soft dates with an elongated oval shape and a golden-brown skin. Many people say that this fruit is very similar to Degnet Noor dates. However, its flavor has a unique characteristic.
It has a deep caramel-like flavor with a buttery hint. Halawy dates come from Mesopotamia, which now occupies modern-day Iraq. The word “Halawy” means “sweet” in Arabic, reflecting this fruit’s excellent taste.
Their flavor and texture can melt in your mouth, making them more special. Halawy dates also come in various sizes, from small to large. Compared to other types, this variety has more wrinkles in appearance.
They are a good choice to dip in yogurt and used as an addition to your fruit salads. You can also make use of them in many savory dishes. When pairing Halawy dates with goat and sheep’s milk cheese, they will delight your taste magnificently.
8. Empress Dates
Known for their distinctive yellow crown on top of the fruits, these Empress dates come from Iraq. They also belong to the soft variety family and are characterized by a narrow oblong shape.
With a modest sweet taste, these dates are an ideal option for pureeing, baked goods, and shakes. Combining these fruits with nuts, various cinnamon varieties, fresh cheese, or chocolate is also a tremendous hit.
You will find them on the market with a light caramel to maroon in color. These fruits have a moist, thick, and chewy texture and are large in size.
9. Khadrawy Dates
One of the gooiest dates globally, Khadrawy dates are fruits initially harvested in Iraq. They are soft, large, and sweet with a buttery aftertaste. Khadrawy dates are rare dates appearing on dry and flaky skin.
They often have an orange-brown color, but this color will gradually turn light-brown when these fruits are ripened. These dates have an oblong shape and chewy texture with firm flesh. You can use this fruit to add to your smoothies, shakes, or baking.
Khadrawy dates are also a healthy alternative to refined sugar. You should enjoy these melt-in-your-mouth fruits as soon as they are picked for the best taste. After storing, this fruit can’t keep the perfect flavor and texture.
10. Honey Dates
Honey dates are a variety of dates originating from Iraq. They are considered plumber than any other type of date. Their skin color ranges from light caramel to deep brown. Honey dates have a rich honey flavor with a creamy-like butter texture.
These dates’ flavor is so good that you will think you are enjoying a caramel candy when you eat them. You can utilize these oval dates to sweeten a variety of recipes to enhance their flavor and make them more suitable for your taste.
11. Dayri Dates
Dayri dates are a semi-dry variety of dates with thick, soft flesh and red skin. This skin’s color will turn golden brown after curing and drying. Originating from Southern Iraq, Dairy dates have a strong and sweet flavor.
Unlike other varieties of dates, Dayri dates don’t have a fibrous texture. They have an oblong form and can range in size from medium to large. Dayri dates are the ideal choice in sweet and savory recipes, thanks to their perfect taste.
You can even replace various kinds of sugar with Dayri dates to add natural sweetness to some baked goods, smoothies, or ice cream bases.
Moreover, you can puree this type of date in a blender and spread the paste directly over crusty bread to enjoy. Dayri dates also work perfectly with salty bacon and creamy goat cheese. It will become your next favorite.
12. Zahedi Dates
Appearing a light brown and baggy exterior, Zahedi dates are a product of Northern Iraq. They have a signature nutty caramel flavor that is reminiscent of caramel popcorn. Due to this unique taste, many people also call them “butter dates”.
Zahedi dates are rare semi-dry dates containing lower sugar content than Medjool dates. Therefore, it’s not surprising that these oval fruits are less sweet than other varieties of dates. Their interior is soft, sticky, and thick with a beautiful golden hue.
You can use these medium fruits as a sugar replacement in many desserts to enhance the natural sweetness. Furthermore, the date’s high phenolic content is advantageous to the chemical industry and other beverages such as coffee.
6 Dates Varieties From Saudi Arabia To Widen Your Knowledge
Besides the popularity of date in Iraq and Iran, it is also a widely-used ingredient in Saudi Arabian cuisine. Are you curious about dates from Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is the country known for the origin of the best dates globally. Let’s explore this country’s dates right now.
|Types Of Dates||Origin||Texture And Flavor||Color And Shape||Uses Or Pairings|
|Ajwa Dates||Medina region, Saudi Arabia||Snacks|
|Mabroom Dates||Saudi Arabia||Sweet dishes|
|Ambera Dates||Madinah, Saudi Arabia||Like other types of dates|
|Sukkari Dates||AI Qassim region of Saudi Arabia||Substitute for sweet treats|
|Kholas Dates||Al Kharj and AI Qaseem regions of Saudi Arabia||Pair with Arabic coffee or tea|
|Safawi Dates||Madinah region, Saudi Arabia|
13. Ajwa Dates
Ajwa dates are native to the Medina region, Saudi Arabia. These Ajwa dates are medium-sized and have an ovoid elongated appearance. Moreover, their color can range from a dark brown to an almost dark hue.
Traditionally, this kind of fruit is associated with the prophet Mohamad; it is served during Ramadan and Islamic religious celebrations. This date is one of the most expensive varieties; however, the flavor it can bring will satisfy your taste buds.
Coming out with a chewy texture, these fruits have a characteristic sweet flavor with hints of honey and cinnamon.
They also offer magnificent benefits, including improving the functioning of the heart and regulating blood pressure. Choose Ajwa dates if you need a tasty and sweet snack.
Some special things about Ajwa dates are here.
14. Mabroom Dates
Have you ever heard about Marum dates or Mabrom dates before? Yes, they are all the names used to call this type of date, Mabroom dates. They are premium fruits originating from Saudi Arabia.
Although these dates are expensive, their mild sweet taste resembles the toffee flavor and it surely amazes you. You can chop this fruit and add it to your sweet dishes. Compared to other varieties, Mabroom dates are less sweet but have firmer chewy flesh.
These fruits are slender and long, oblong in shape, and appear brown and wrinkled. These fruits are one of the rare dates that ripen on the palm trees and are picked once they are dried.
Many people say that the Sultan of Brunei presents each Muslim subject with these luxurious dates during Ramadan. That alone should suffice to explain why this fruit is so pricy.
15. Ambera Dates
Let’s continue the interesting list today with one of the finest dates in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, Ambera dates, also called Amber dates in many regions in the world. These fruits have soft flesh with a dry texture.
As the name suggests, you can guess that these dates feature the amber color. These high-quality fruits are available in large sizes and have a mild to moderate sweetness.
They are also advantageous in treating many health problems such as diarrhea, inflammation, or oral diseases.
16. Sukkari Dates
Sukkari dates are a premium variety of dates originating from the Al Qassim region of Saudi Arabic. The word “Sukkari” is sometimes spelled “Sukkary” or “Sukkur”, meaning “sugary” in Arabic.
Sukkari dates are pleasantly sweet and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. They have a soft, silky honey aftertaste. Their light golden brown with patches of lighter color is the unique feature setting this fruit apart from others.
These dates often appear in a circular shape and range in size from small to medium. They are a good source of nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. Sukkari dates will keep your skin healthy and moist.
Moreover, this fruit plays a vital role in lowering cholesterol levels. The fiber content is also good for the digestive system. If you need a perfect substitute for sweet treats, Sukkari dates are the best choice.
17. Kholas Dates
Khola dates are a fairly sticky fruit coming from the AI Kharj and AI Qaseem regions of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, a remarkable thing about this type of date is that its smooth skin is quite loose.
Kholas dates always know how to generate highlights and score points in your eyes at each ripening stage. You can eat them when they are unripe (balah), semi-ripe (rhutab), and fully ripe (tamr).
Like their compartments, these dates also have a very sweet caramel-like flavor. This fruit is oval in shape with a semi-translucent black to the golden-brown exterior. You can enjoy this fruit with a cup of Arabic coffee or tea to suit your taste better.
18. Safawi Dates
Native to the Madinah region, Saudi Arabia, Safawi dates are medium-sized dates with a dark black exterior. Some hints of brown color on the surface make these dates easier to recognize than other varieties.
Safawi dates are cylindrical-shaped and have a soft and luxurious texture. Moreover, their refreshing sweetness is considered more intense than Khudri dates. These fruits also provide you with a multitude of health benefits.
Loaded with a variety of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, these dates are beneficial in curing your intestinal disorders, keeping your stomach healthy, and treating anemia.
Moreover, these fruits are moist, light, and chewy on the inside and have a flavorsome and sweet taste, making them a good option for a snack or an addition to your baked goods.
12 Date Types From Around The World You Shouldn’t Miss
In addition to the typical types of dates in the above countries, here are some other varieties originating from different regions in the world. Don’t miss this information.
|Types Of Dates||Origin||Texture And Flavor||Color And Shape||Uses Or Pairings|
|Dabbas Dates||United Arab Emirates|
|Khudri Dates||Egypt and Saudi Arabia||Baked goods|
|Maktoum Dates||The Middle East||Cooking or baking|
|Abbada Dates||California||Consume fresh or for cooking|
|Deglet Noor Dates||Algeria|
|Sayer Dates||The Middle East and the Persian Gulf|
|Khalasa Dates||Southeastern Arabia||Baked goods|
|Kenta Dates||Tunisia, Africa||Ideal for baking|
|Thoory Dates||Algeria||Serve with trail mix, granola, or muesli|
|Sagai Dates||Arabian Peninsula||Snacks|
19. Dabbas Dates
Let’s start today’s list with a fruit starting with D letter, Dabbas dates. Known as one of the tiniest types of dates in the world, Dabbas dates are a variety originating from the United Arab Emirates.
They often appear with a beautiful golden brown exterior. Dabbas dates come out in an oval appearance. They will win a big score with you due to their smooth flesh and a delicate sweet flavor.
Although Dabbas dates come from the United Arab Emirates, they are now grown in many nations worldwide.
Dabbas dates are an excellent source of glucose, sucrose, and fructose, making them an excellent energy booster. You can use this type of date as a sugar wrap in cooking and baking many dishes.
20. Medjool Dates
Have you ever eaten pecan energy bars before? If yes, Medjool dates are not completely strange to you. This pecan-based delight often includes this kind of date.
Originating in Morocco, Medjool dates, also known as Medjul dates are a large variety of dates. People sometimes describe this type of date as “syrupy” due to its naturally sweet flavor. They are often oval in shape and very large in size.
Medjool dates are also considered “the king of dates” thanks to their popularity and large size. They are always available in the market. Medjool dates are perfect for eating fresh.
You also can use them as an ingredient in some delicious Spanish-made desserts such as coconut-date bars, stuffing recipes, energy bars, or shakes.
When Medjool dates are ripening, they will turn from amber to reddish-brown. They have a high moisture content so you will feel the sticky and chewy texture inside of this stone fruit. This soft variety also offers a decadent caramel flavor, making it more delicious.
Something you should know about Medjool dates is here.
21. Khudri Dates
If you are looking for a budget date, Khudri dates are the ideal option for you. They are moderately sweet and have a soft yet chewy consistency. Often coming in a dark brown appearance, these dates are not too wrinkly.
These Khudri dates are available in small to large sizes and usually have an elongated oval form. Native to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, these non-round fruits are a great addition to your desserts.
You can serve them right after removing them from the package or use these dates to improve the flavor of various baked goods such as bread, cakes, cookies, or muffins. Thes fruits are an excellent way to boost your energy and strengthen a weak heart.
22. Maktoum Dates
Maktoum dates, also known as Maktoom dates, are soft dates possessing thick wrinkly skin. Their flavor and texture are likened to Medjool dates. Therefore, Maktoum dates also have a decent sweet taste.
If you don’t like something overly sweet, give Maktoum dates a chance to satisfy your taste buds. These fruits are soft, chewy, and sticky with a reddish-brown color.
They are also available on the market in a large size. If you want to enjoy the best flavor of this oval fruit, you should serve it when they are fresh.
23. Hayani Dates
Another soft date that I would like to share with you is Hayani dates, also known as Hayany dates. They are initially from Egypt and feature a dark brown to black appearance. This sort of fruit is elongated and meaty.
Like other varieties of dates, Hayani dates also have perfectly sweet goodness. You can utilize this fruit in cooking, making salads, desserts, or mixing a cocktail. It is also an ideal option to add to savory or sweet dishes.
24. Abbada Dates/Abada Dates
With an elegant and luxurious appearance, Abbada dates are a soft fruit coming from California. They are long and have a characteristic black color. Compared to Medjool dates, these fruits are longer.
These dates are commonly referred to as the “chocolate” of the date fruits due to its signature color. They have a chewy and soft texture. Sweet, creamy, these dates will melt in your mouth. However, this date is not very common in the U.S.
25. Deglet Noor Dates
If Medjool dates are the most popular, Deglet Noor dates undoubtedly take second place. The name “Deglet Noor” means “Date of light” in Arabic. Moreover, this date is endowed with the name “Queen of all dates” thanks to its excellent taste.
A variety of dates from Algeria, Deglet Noor dates have a narrow, elongated oval form with the color ranging from yellow to amber. Furthermore, they have a characteristic translucent exterior.
These dates often range from medium to large in size and have a subtle sweet flavor. They are also famous for their light nutty finish taste. You can utilize this firm-consistency fruit to enhance the flavor of braising or roasting dishes.
Medjool dates Vs. Deglet Noor dates: What are the differences?
26. Sayer Dates
Soft, chewy, and sweet, these dates are semi-dry dates from the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. You will see them on the market ranging in color from brown to dark brown. They are long and oval in shape.
With a naturally sweet taste, these Sayer dates are suitable for salads, cookies, ice cream, and smoothies. Moreover, you can use them in sweet, savory dishes, several sorts of tea, and coffee.
Packed with antioxidants, manganese, vitamins, and minerals, these fruits help lower the risk of cancer, and heart disease, enhance gastrointestinal function, and facilitate digestion.
27. Khalasa Dates
Khalasa dates are initially from the Hasa and Oman regions in southeastern Arabia. They often come out with an oblong and oval shape. This variety of fruit is slightly sweet, leaving them melting on your tongue.
With glossy skin, these dates are often medium in size and have amber-red flesh. They have a characteristic golden brown with a semi-dry and firm texture. You can substitute this fruit for refined sugar or use them in baked goods.
28. Kenta Dates
It’s now exaggerating when you say that Kenta dates are one of the most appealing dates in the world. These fruits have light golden color with a wrinkled shell. Possessing a long oval shape like most dates, Kenta dates have a semi-dry texture.
These fruits come from Tunisia, the northernmost country in Africa. Compared to other varieties of dates, Kenta dates’ sweetness level is lower. This fruit is one of the few dates that mature at a young age.
29. Thoory Dates
Thoory dates are dry dates used in various baked goods thanks to their firm and pastry-like texture and sweet taste. That’s also why many people call this fruit “bread date”. These dates come from Algeria, a large country in western North Africa.
Ranging in size from medium to large, these fruits appear in an oblong form. They are golden brown and have a hard, chewy body. In addition to the sweetness, you will feel the nutty flavor from these dates.
If you are looking for a perfectly healthy snack, Thoory dates are a good choice. Furthermore, you can serve this fruit with trail mix, granola, or muesli (a cold oatmeal dish based on rolled oats) to make a new wrist.
30. Sagai Dates
Sagai dates are a dry variety of dates originating from the Arabian Peninsula. These fruits have a naturally sweet flavor and a cylindrical shape. This is one of the most recognizable among all the varieties of dates.
These fruits feature two layers of color rather than a single hue from top to bottom. Furthermore, their texture varies according to the two layers. They are golden at the tips with a slightly dry texture. However, the rest of their body turns soft with a brown color.
Many people liken this type of date to a balance of soft and crunchy. Besides being a great snack, these fruits are beneficial in boosting your energy, relieving constipation, and curing abdominal cancer.
How to choose the best Sagai dates? Check here for the answer!
Don’t Hesitate And Make Some Good Treats With Dates Today!
I’ve brought you around the world to discover various dates. They all have one thing in common: they’re sweet, offer many health benefits, and are great for cooking. So, wherever possible, incorporate this fruit into your menu.
Finally, please share this article with other people if you find it useful. Don’t hesitate to comment to share your thoughts and opinion about this post with me. Thank you for your following, and have a nice day!
Table of Contents
- What Are Dates, And Why Should You Use Them In Culinary?
- 5 Iranian Dates To Diversify Your Menu
- 7 Dates From Iraq To Make Your Taste Bud Happy
- 6 Dates Varieties From Saudi Arabia To Widen Your Knowledge
- 12 Date Types From Around The World You Shouldn’t Miss
- Don’t Hesitate And Make Some Good Treats With Dates Today!