Dates is a type of fruit that many consider as a superfood due to its multiple health benefits, including healing properties. This sweet tasting fruit can be found mainly in the tropical regions, like Saudi Arabia, and grown on palm trees. Most dates that are being sold in the markets are dried and their appearance could be golden brown.
Different varieties of dates have been a staple fruit in the middle east region for more than a thousand years. The fruit of the date palm has an elongated shape and the color could range from bright red to bright yellow in color, depending on variety. The palm trees may take 4 to 8 years before they will bear fruit after planting.
What Are The 13 Different Types of Dates
You might wonder what different types of dates are available out there. Date varieties have been evolving due to new technology and cultivation techniques. You may find a soft date, a brown date, dry or semi-dry date depending on the ripening process.
If you want to know which varieties of dates provide the most sweet taste, difference in color, texture and quality, and which one is best to put into your mouth for their amazing health benefits, read this post until the end.
1. Medjool Dates
A variety of dates that are enjoyed for their natural sweetness, with a more caramel taste than other common types comparable to the Deglet Noor, is called Medjool dates. Dates Medjool type also has a larger and darker fruit. They are native in Morocco but you can see them being grown in the regions of the Middle East, South Asia, the United States, and North Africa.
Since they are sold dried but undehydrated, the medjool dates have a soft and sticky texture. As they are being dried further, their sugar level also increases and also affects the level of sweetness these dates would produce. You don’t not need sugar products if you have them very ripe.
Eating this kind of date would offer a high amount of fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B6, copper, iron, potassium and magnesium. This date also provides a higher content of calcium compared to other dates.
Even though this date has a higher level of natural sugar when it’s ripe, it has a low glycemic index that doesn’t cause a sudden increase in blood sugar level. But you should be mindful with your consumption as it has a high calorie amount which might affect your body weight.
2. Barhi Dates
Barhi dates have a soft, chewy texture and are a small and round fruit. It has a buttery-scotch and sweet taste, similar to a caramel flavour. Once it ripens, barhi will turn into a brown skin color.
If you are looking for its nutritional component, barhi dates have B vitamins, fiber, potassium, iron, flavonoids and antioxidants. You can use this date to sweeten anything and save the use of refined sugars.
3. Deglet Noor Dates
Deglet noor is one of the popular dates that are being produced commercially in the middle east region like Saudi Arabia, but is also popular in the United States. These dates are semi-dry types with a slightly crunchy yet still pliable texture.
Like the other dates, this type is also a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals like fiber, iron, potassium, B-vitamins, flavonoids and antioxidants. You can find the deglet noor being used in most pastries and other baked delicacies due to its light sweetness and firm consistency.
4. Sukkari Dates
Being one of the favorite dates due to its nutritional value, health benefits, and cheap price, this date may stand up among the date types available on farmers markets in Saudi Arabia. Its appearance could be golden brown with a withered skin.
If you are looking for a healthy snack, you might include this type of date on your options. Get this date in the mid season of fall. You can’t go wrong with this one as it has fiber, vitamins and nutrients. It also provides healthy skin by maintaining its moisture content.
5. Ajwa Dates
Grown exclusively in Medina, Saudi Arabia, this type of date grows on palm trees and its skin color could range from a dark brown to almost black colour. The flavor and texture of the Ajwa dates are soft and fruity with a prune-like taste. It also reigns from the dry variety of dates.
Though this type of date could be a little bit on the expensive side, it also provides a high nutrition benefit. The vitamins and minerals found on these dates promote a healthy heart, bones, prevents tooth decay, controls blood sugar level due to its low glycemic index, and boosts the immune system.
Referred to as a bread date as it is being used in pastries, thoory has a semi-sweet, nutty flavor with a firm and pastry-like texture. It is a dry-type date variety which means it has a drier composition when compared to some dates.
It is a good go-to snack due to its non-sticky composition. Just be reminded that it is also on the hard side and may not be for everyone. However, it’s hard skin and outer flesh make it good for longer shelf life.
7. Amber Dates
Amber is a soft and fleshy dry variety of date fruit, and is one of the most famous dates due to its size. As you might notice, Amber is named due to its amber color and skin appearance. It is called Ambar in some parts of the world.
Amber has a mild to moderate sweetness and nutty flavor. Amber is also used in a lot of things like beauty treatments, nutrition, and weight loss. These dates provide some important nutrients like Manganese, Vitamin B6, Folic acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Iron, Potassium, and phosphorus.
8. Halawy Dates
This variety comes from the soft type and has a thick flesh with a caramel-like chewy texture and sweet taste. Halawy dates skin could range from yellow to amber and has a wrinkled appearance. It is also an amber-colored type of date with an appearance that is similar to deglet noor.
Halawy, or Halawi dates, are also a good source of fiber, plus it contains a rich amount of iron, B-vitamins, amino acids, potassium, flavonoids, and antioxidants. They are available in the fall and could be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets.
9. Zahidi Dates
Zahidi would translate to small quantity or nobility in English and was introduced around the 1900’s. Its fruit is of medium size, round with a golden brown flesh color when ripe.
Like the other type of date, Zahidi is also nutritious as it contains high levels of iron, potassium, B-vitamins, flavonoids, antioxidants and different variations of amino acids.
10. Khola Dates
Khola Dates are very sweet and soft, with a toffee flavor that is almost syrup. Its skin is a bit loose over the flesh but has a non-sticky texture. Khola is best paired with a coffee or tea.
If you are looking to ditch your purchases of sugar products with an all natural sweetener, you can’t go wrong with this type of date.
11. Mabroom Dates
If you are looking for a soft dry date variety, then mabroom is what you are looking for. Mabroom dates have a dark maroon color, with an elongated shape. It also has a modest sweet and chewy flesh. The skin of these dates are translucent and brown in color.
For those who are looking for a delicious treat, yet on the healthy side, you can’t go wrong with these dates. If you will store this in a fridge, you should not eat them directly as it is best consumed at room temperatures.
12. Safawi Dates
These dates are from the Al-Madina region of Saudi, but you can also find them in the regions of Al Qaseem. It is a soft, moist variety of dates with a particular deep black colour. It consists of medium and long fruits with a refined structure and taste.
Just like most of the date types, Safawi is also rich in high nutrients, minerals, vitamins, fibers, antioxidants and flavonoids. It may help in treating some diseases as well.
13. Iteema Dates
These very sweet and large-sized dates came from Algeria. It has an amber color with an oblong-shaped fruit. If you are one of those people who is eager to hand this delicious type of date, you could also look for them during the fall season.
You can also find almost the same nutrients and vitamins from the other dates on these types of dates. Make it as a sweetener for your tea or coffee, or add it on your favorite snack.
What Type of Date Is The Best
Depending on your palate and taste, you can never go wrong with any types of dates that are available at the farmers markets or grocery stores worldwide. Just check for the best quality and flavor that you can find in your region. You might also want to consider their texture and they can be soft, dry or semi-dry. Some dates also possess hard flesh that may be harder to chew than the others.