1. AJWA (SAUDI ARABIA)
These dark dates fetch a high price in the Muslim world as they were Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) favourite dates. Small, chewy rather than juicy, and moderately sweet.
2. LULU (AL AIN, UAE)
Each individual date in a batch at the market exhibited a slightly different taste and moisture level. Some were soft and sweet as honey; others were chewy, dry and bland.
3. AMBAR (SAUDI ARABIA)
With an average size of 5cm, these pricey dates are some of the largest available. However, inside is often more hollow space than date pulp.
4. BAM (IRAN)
These tooth-coatingly wet dates are in the rutab category – fresh, soft, juicy. They are best stored in the fridge given their super-juicy belly.
5. DEGLET NOOR (ALGERIA)
This North African variety is famous, but has a low flesh to seed ratio.
6. KHADRI (SAUDI ARABIA)
From the Qassim region, this variety has the perfect ratio of plump to chewy – and an aftertaste of berries.
7. KHALAS (SAUDI ARABIA)
This wonderful date has a smoky sweetness that comes highly recommended.
8. MABROOM (SAUDI ARABIA)
From the word ‘rounded,’ these dates look shrivelled on the outside, but are surprisingly soft and chewy on the inside. They release their sweet flavour gradually, like a slow-melting chewy toffee.
9. MASHROOK (SAUDI ARABIA)
These dates are tough and skinny, with a sweet aftertaste.
10. MEDJOOL (JORDAN)
A close second to the Palestinian variety, this is still worth making a date with.
11. MEDJOOL (PALESTINE)
The most expensive date at the market this year earns its Dh55 a kilo price tag with its voluptuous, dense flesh.
12. SUKKARI (SAUDI ARABIA)
Their name comes from the word for sugar, and that’s no coincidence. Pair with a dark, bitter coffee.