Global Seasons Dates

The great range of date varieties can be classified in three groups depending on their maturation in the tree; they can be soft, semidry and dry.

Fresh dates are harvested after a short period of maturation (5-6 months) in the tree. They must be kept in the fridge and they are widely cultivated in Israel from where most of the European imports come. Fresh dates are also imported from California.

Among the semidry dates there is a very popular one known world-wide as "Deglet Noor" or " Date of the light". Its skin is even and bright, and it is marketed in boxes in which the fruit is joined to the rachis. The date "Medjool" has a wrinkled skin. The real dates of Tunisia and the black dates of Turkey are of superior quality, although the ones from Elche, in Spain, are also regarded as excellent dates. Other varieties with commercial importance are Zahidi, Halawi and Bardhi.

Dry dates are harvested fully ripe when the sun has already dried them in the tree. They can be preserved in good conditions for long periods of time. It is a very hard fruit that is sometimes ground for processing flour. It is also softened by means of soaking it in water before its consumption.