Dates, the Middle East fruit

This article is also available in: Italiano

Few foods manage to become a true symbol for a part of the world, dishes of the caliber of pizza, hamburgers and, for the Middle East, dates. After bringing you recipes, it is time to delve deeper into the origin of flavors, the first stage could not have any other aroma.

Symbol of Middle East

The date palm has very ancient origins, dating back as far as 50 million years ago. Always cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula, where it constitutes one of the founding elements of every diet, it has also been known in Europe since Roman times. The latter used the palms mainly for aesthetic functions, embellishing the gardens of their villas and paying homage to the leaders during the triumphs. Again with this latter function, it was also used by the first Christians to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, a gesture that rightfully enrolls dates in the riverbed of “sacred fruits”.


The plan is in fact present in all 3 texts of the monotheistic Revelation, also bringing values and aspects that are always extremely positive. Thanks to its very high concentration of sugars, equal to about 80%, it has always been considered “the fruit” to give to the sick and hungry, a reserve of light energy that can be carried everywhere. For this reason, Muslims all over the world break their fast with an odd number of dates and Mary herself was fed with them by Allah following the immaculate conception.

Deglet Nour, king of dates

The largest producer in the world is Egypt, which, however, brings a very small part of it, allocating the vast majority to internal consumption, both human and animal. Other famous producers, however, are Algeria, Iran and Sudan, very famous in the world also for the varieties most exported by them. From the Maghreb country, in particular, comes the most widespread typology in the world and which, we are sure, is populating your tables these days: the Deglet Nour.

The Deglet Nour, during Ramadan, available in every halal butcher shop

This cultivar, which has become the most popular in a very short time, is still appreciated for its sweetness and energy ratio, so much to earn the nickname “king of dates”. Its origins are to be found between Tunisia and Algeria, the latter, however, also managed to document the excellence of its product, so much so that there is the “Deglet Nour di Tolga”, the best ever for this variety. In addition to the one just mentioned, there are dozens of types, each with extremely different characteristics and flavors, which go to broaden the horizons of this extraordinary plant.

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Ibn Battuta? You will find here how to do it. Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to devote ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East.

Leave a Reply