Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make a Date to Come to Fujairah for the Harvest

Multicolored Dates
Take a look at the images in this date fruit collage (pictured). I took these photos yesterday of dates maturing on the palm trees around Fujairah. The dates are all different colors from trees only metres apart.

Ripening for a Date
Dates go through distinct stages on the way to maturity:

Kimri when the date is green and inedible but often used as fodder for animals.

Bisr or Khalal when the date turns red or yellow and is full size and crunchy.

Ratab (rutab) when the date starts turning brown and becomes ripe and soft.

Tamr (tamir) when the date is completely brown and is ripe and sun dried.

You can see that although the dates in Fujairah at the moment are of many shades and colors, they still have a way to go before the harvest. Some people like to eat dates before they are ripe.

Date Harvest
In different centres of the UAE, the annual date festival has already begun. In Sharjah it runs from mid-May to mid-August (the beginning of Ramadan this year).

These festivals are usually held in the local Fruit and Vegetable Souk (market) and are a great opportunity to sample different varieties of dates from many countries of the world.

Fresh Dates
Many expatriates in the UAE come from non-date growing countries and their experience will be mainly of eating dried and processed dates which are available all the year around.

Dates are seasonal and the supply of fresh dates is limited.

So make a date this year for visiting a fruit and vegetable souk in your area to taste and buy some fresh dates.

Abu Dhabi Date Festival 2009
Liwa Date Festival 2009

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Dates maturing on palm trees in Fujairah (17 June 2009).

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