THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bakeries and stores in the city have stored cartons of dates to give a healthy sugar rush to believers who break their fast during the Ramzan month. As per traders in Chalai, during the holy month, dates come from not less than 12-13 Afro-Asian countries. During other times of the year, the options are limited to breeds coming from three to four countries.
The more the calorie content and nutrients a date has, the more expensive it gets. Fard variety commonly availed in mosques and public places are the laymen’s dates. They reach the city from places like Oman and Ala-ain in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Exotic varieties like Shamar and Barari from Iran also are popular but and are stocked by only reputed sellers. Local online stores also offer a variety of options during the seasons. During Ramzan month, date varieties such as Al-Ajwah, Arafat, Kimiya and Alfiya from Saudi Arabia have many takers.
Few who love to break the fast in luxury, opt for Medjool from Jordan that costs around Rs 1,850 per kilogram. Tunisian dates that are high in calories are priced as high as Rs 1,600 a kilogram and go well with milk. “My children like to have date syrup with milk. These are available in most supermarkets around the year now. For public events, Fard is the most preferred variety,” said Shyma Riaz, a homemaker and culinary expert hailing from Pettah.
Importers from Tamil Nadu, who get popular Indian brands of dates, make big bucks during the season. Globally Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the largest exporters of dates in the world. The dates are rich in iron, fibre, protein and vitamins....