Date, a fruit cultivated extensively throughout the world in hot, dry regions, is one of the major fruits found in Saudi Arabia. The varied delicacies that brings out of it are really astounding. Biscuits, wafers, chocolates and other candies, pickles and vinegar are a few of them. Date filled cookies called Mamoul, a Middle Eastern cookies, is traditionally filled with pitted dates or date pastes.
Saudi Arabia along with Egypt is one of the largest producers of dates in the world.
Budding dates at a farm in Ragbah in the Cetral region of Saudi Arabia.
All the young sprouts of dates will have a yellowish green colour, though, as it ripens the change begins with varied colours, sizes and tastes.
A bunch of red dates at a farm in Hufuf in the eastern region. Hufuf is a leading producer of dates in the Kingdom. The date farms make Hufuf the largest oasis in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest of the world.
As you enter a Saudi home, most of the time, the first dish that awaits you will be Dates with Qahwa (a drink of spices) which is a delicious combination.
Dates provide medicinal and nutritional value. They are great sources of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, copper, boron and phosphorous. They are also rich in natural fibers and contain many vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, biotin, folic and ascorbic acid.
Approximately six dates are equivalent to about ten teaspoons of table sugar. It will be interesting to know that one kilogram of dates contains nearly 3,000 calories.
Date palm with a height of just one meter at a farm in Al Ula. The date palms are said to have more than 100 years of life.
Buraidah, the capital city of Qassim Province, holds a major part in the production of dates in Saudi Arabia. It has been since 50 years that Qassim holds a dates harvest festival. Qassim Dates Festival is held during the month of August every year where around 45 varieties of dates are sold!