12 Aug2007

dates1

I found these unusual (for local groceries, that is) yellow or golden dates at Rustan’s this afternoon. They were about PHP75 for this small pack. I have NEVER seen local dates before. They are hard and apparently, unripe. I washed one and bit into it and was PLEASANTLY surprised, crisp and with the consistency of an apple, it was sweetish and rather good actually, though small and the size of a duhat or smaller. It has a small long pit within. I can’t find any material on it on-line or in my reference books so I am guessing and need your help… I am guessing that these come from a palm tree of some sort but which one, I have no clue. I am hoping it will ripen into a really sweet fruit with a sugar content that would rival sugarcane and will try it again in a few days. Does anyone know more about this fruit find? Any information would be appreciated…thanks!

dates2

 

COMMENTS:

  1. RobKSA says:

    If your question is what tree it comes from, then the answer is that dates comes from a Date tree. I’m eating one as I type, it’s now the season for dates in Saudi Arabia. The date tree is basically a palm tree.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 2:40 pm

     
  2. edrid says:

    I find this recipe for golden dates…

    Golden Date Cake Ingredients

    2 eggs
    pinch salt
    4 oz butter
    3/4 cup milk
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 cups plain flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    1 cup dates chopped
    1/2 cup nuts chopped

    Golden Date Cake Method

    In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then gradually add the well beaten eggs and flavour with the vanilla. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt then add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the dates and nuts and place in a well greased ring cake tin which has been lined on bottom with greased paper. Bake the Golden Date Cake in a moderate oven 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden. Remove from tin and allow to cool.

    Enjoy your freshly made Golden Date Cake!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 2:46 pm

     
  3. Redge says:

    Dates come from the date palm and are abundant here in the Middle East. I’ve tried the yellow ones and they are really delicious and sweet, but I’ve never seen those ones you got in any supermarket here in Dubai. I like dried dates with almond filling. The chocolate covered ones are yummy as well!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 2:49 pm

     
  4. edrid says:

    Aug 12, 2007 | 2:53 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    I realize these are the fruits of a palm tree, probably a very close if not the actual date palm, but there are dozens of different varieties and this one, the fruit, a drupe seems incredibly small to begin with…after one dries it, it would be the size of a large raisin… I know wer have some palm oil plantations here where the palms are mainly raised for their oils, but I haven’t come across locally grown palms for their drupes or dates… thanks edrid for the link and the recipe…though I think the recipe is more traditional dried golden dates, but it sounds good… Here is another question are fresh dates (not dried) supposed to be soft and mushy or hard and crisp???

    Aug 12, 2007 | 3:29 pm

     
  6. tulip says:

    I forgot what it is called, we have several palm trees at one of the house and we had some folks from Bataan as guests they were overjoyed with the fruit they asked for baskets. They thought the fruit is what they are used to eat..like those on your photo.
    I’ll try to look at my references and get back to you if I find its name.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 3:48 pm

     
  7. RobKSA says:

    The short answer: fresh dates are hard if they are not ripe yet but soft and mushy once they become ripe.
    Dates goes thru stages of ripening. I like dates which are soft in about 1/4 of the fruit because it is still crunchy. Some like the fully ripen dates (soft and mushy) and yes they are very very sweet when fully ripen.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 4:12 pm

     
  8. Doug says:

    You usually purchase them like “maniba” or still firm. Like sineguelas, I prefer them on the hard/firm form. Some enjoyed them fully ripe, when the succulent sweetness burst into your mouth. Love them!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 4:17 pm

     
  9. tulip says:

    I asked the househelp what our previous guests call those in local name but she cant remember. I look it up in my hand written botany list and there are date palms locally grown in Bohol. According to Mr. Madulid’s cyclopedia of local plants, there are date palms locally grown though uncommon. My hand written list/research was done 4 years ago, so today there might be lots of these date palms in Bohol. Weird but I must have actually been to Bohol to see those palms and have tried its fruit but I dont remember anything.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 5:32 pm

     
  10. Paolo says:

    Here’s what I found for you, MM..

    Most of the dozen or more species of the genus Phoenix (family Palmae) are grown as ornamental palms indoors or out. Only the common date, P. dactylifera L., is cultivated for its fruit. Often called the edible date, it has few alternate names except in regional dialects. To the French, it is dattier; in German, it is dattel; in Italian, datteri; or dattero; in Spanish, datil; and, in Dutch, dadel. The Portuguese word is tamara.

    Bonavia introduced seeds of 26 kinds of dates from the Near East into northern India and Pakistan in 1869; and, in 1909, D. Milne, the Economic Botanist for the Punjab, introduced offshoots and established the date as a cultivated crop in Pakistan. The fruits ripen well in northwestern India and at the Fruit Research Center in Saharanpur. In southern India, the climate is unfavorable for date production. A few trees around Bohol in the Philippines are said to bear an abundance of fruits of good quality. The date palm has been introduced into Australia, and into northeastern Argentina and Brazil where it may prosper in dry zones. Some dates are supplying fruits for the market on the small island of Margarita off the coast from northern Venezuela. Seed-propagated dates are found in many tropical and sub-tropical regions where they are valued as ornamentals but where the climate is unsuitable for fruit production.
    ‘Zahdi'(‘Zahidi’)—the oldest-known cultivar, consumed in great quantity in the Middle East; introduced into California about 1900. Of medium size, cylindrical, light golden-brown; semi-dry but harvested and sold in 3 stages: soft, medium-hard, and hard: very sugary; keeps well for months; much used for culinary purposes. The palm is stout, fast growing, heavy bearing; drought resistant; has little tolerance of high humidity.
    http://www.datepalm.com/palminfo/zahidi.asp Photos of Zahdi palms that are planted on center lanes as “ornamental plants” in Ayala, Alabang and many Park Subdivisions in the Philippines

    Aug 12, 2007 | 6:35 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Paolo, THANK YOU so much for that information. I really appreciate it, and so do the other readers, I am sure. tulip, thanks… :) Doug, they did taste pretty good unripe… RobKSA, thanks for that! This proves how many minds are indeed better than one…

    Aug 12, 2007 | 10:23 pm

     
  12. Julie says:

    I think this is the date that we use in cooking Chinese long boiled soup. But we buy these dry. They do shrink. It turns to a deeper red colour when fully ripe. Before we put that in the soup with a lb of pork, we take the pit out. There are other dried stuff that goes in the soup as well, like thinly sliced dried casava and dried lotus seeds as well. It sweetens the soup lightly and it’s nice to bite in it when your having the soup itself.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 11:09 pm

     
  13. Risa says:

    Does anyone have the experience of comments going blank when you scroll down?

    Is it my machine or the the website?

    (Sorry, off topic, but I like reading comments and some of them are cut off at the end.)

    Aug 12, 2007 | 11:38 pm

     
  14. eatit1s says:

    It looks like a jujube to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jujube

    Aug 13, 2007 | 12:46 am

     
  15. alilay says:

    jujube or chinese dates, A1 grocery along sunset blvd. sometimes have these and i love them, i also saw a tree (not really a tree) laden with fruits at our neighbor’s yard today on my way to the swap meet.

    Aug 13, 2007 | 2:51 am

     
  16. T. says:

    MM, PLEASE check out the golden prunes I posted on my blog just today, by coincidence! I’ve never seen these “mirabelles” before, but they grow on trees just behind my husband’s fmily’s country home in Normandy, where we are on vacation right now, and his aunt made an INCREDIBLE tart out of them for lunch today (also shown). Delicious!

    Aug 13, 2007 | 5:34 am

     
  17. Marketman says:

    T., Fabulous post, and what a nice place to spend a few weeks! I think the mirabelles may be slightly different from the ones I have above, but delicious in a pie nonetheless! Enjoy the rest of your trip! alilay, Jujubes or Chinese dates, interesting, have to look that up. And I know the ripe red ones, have seen those before but have never cooked with them. eatit1s, thanks for the link! Risa, you are using a particular version of explorer where the comments sometimes go blank… its a little bug that I can’t figure out, or at least my tech guy is too busy to figure out. It doesn’t happen in Firefox which seems to be a pretty good browser alternative… Julie, thanks! Jujube seems to make the most sense so far…

    Aug 13, 2007 | 6:26 am

     
  18. Kit says:

    The photos are of a fruit known here(Canada) as Jujubes. They are not dates. Dates are from the Date Palm, and are usually yellow or orange brown.

    Jujubes are also known as Chinese Dates. They are sweet and have
    the consistency of an Apple.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jujube

    Cheers

    Aug 13, 2007 | 6:38 am

     
  19. tulip says:

    Jujube is known as Mansanitas locally. Now I have to say, it looks like mansanitas than a date palm to me.

    Aug 13, 2007 | 8:08 am

     
  20. grace says:

    Yup these are definitely jujubes or [called dates here in china]. they are very much in season in Beijing right now. I’ve seen them range from small olive size to near golf ball sized ones. I find the small ones sweeter. I only eat them while they are still crisp – i find the mushy ones disgusting. They are also available dried, fried [like potato chips] and candied. the english translation for the candied ones is – donkey hide gelatin dates…. wonder if its really stewed in donkey hide

    Aug 13, 2007 | 7:46 pm

     
  21. Maria Clara says:

    I agree with Alilay and Grace they are jujube. They are good dried too. You can find a lot of this in Thailand too.

    Aug 14, 2007 | 12:49 am

     
  22. brownedgnat says:

    Definitely jujube. They are plentiful at the farmer’s market here in northern California. They’re called Chinese apples and taste similar to apples. This all brings back memories. Growing up, my grandfather brought home tiny apples. They grew wild in Cavite. It didn’t click when I bought some at the farmer’s market until “Tulip” mentioned manzanitas. However, I recall Manzanitas looked more like miniature green apples–in shape and in taste. I don’t recall the red color.

    Aug 14, 2007 | 6:29 am

     
  23. brenda says:

    @ brownedgnat, you’re right, manzanitas looked like miniature green apples. They turn red if overipe, but the shape is still like an apple. We had a big tree before and got lots of childhood memories with it.

    The ones in MM’s picture does’nt look like it. I haven’t seen this kind of fruit so I really cannot contribute but its good that there are lots of information on these.

    Aug 15, 2007 | 7:57 am

     
  24. Florence says:

    i think it is mansanitas, reminds me of sugar plum.
    I miss the taste.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 10:20 am

     
  25. miles says:

    Dates (fruit of Palm Tree)are available during summer and a traditional fruit during Ramadan in the Middle East.Here in Kuwait you will find Palm Trees along the road,well take cared by Bangladesh Nationals and mostly in the backyard of kuwaiti villas. You can eat this unripe which is in yellow color and crunchy but its sweeter when ripe and soft which its color become red…very delicious!

    Aug 22, 2007 | 9:04 pm

     
  26. Lou says:

    finally, I know can put a name on those fruits you featured! I see them these days at the Asian markets but hadn’t the courage to taste them. Now I could try these jujubes without fear of getting an upset stomach.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 10:36 pm

     
 

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