9 Types Of Dates You Didn’t Know About

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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There are many different types of dates beyond the most popular few that are found in stores and markets all over the world, and each is unique in its own way.

Dates are the fruit of the date palm, a flowering plant scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera that has been cultivated and relied on for a food source for thousands of years. These sweet and nutrient-dense fruits are all beneficial, but it’s important to understand how they are different. Native to the Fertile Crescent and other areas of the Middle East and Africa, date palms remain an important crop in these parts of the world, among others. There are hundreds of different cultivars of dates now grown and distributed, which also belong to broader types that will be explained below.

Types of Dates

The major types of dates include saghai, safawi, deglet noor, barhi, sukkari, kholas, zahidi, Medjool, khudri, and anbara, among others.

Safawi

These dates are dark brown, nearly black, and are very chewy, with high levels of dietary fiber that can help your digestive system.

Deglet Noor

One of the most widely distributed varieties of dates, these dates are light red with a firm outer skin and are only semi-soft.

Deglet Noor dates stacked on one another

Deglet Noor dates have a firm outer skin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Barhi

Medium-sized with a thin skin, this is a sweet variety of date with tender flesh, making them easy to eat fresh.

Anbara

These are dry, soft, and fleshy dates from Saudi Arabia.

Saghai

These are crispy dates that are primarily grown in Saudi Arabia and make a popular mobile snack for many people in this region.

Sukkari

These delectable dates are notoriously soft and have a very sweet flavor, and are said to almost melt in your mouth.

Khudri

This is the dark brown variety of dates that are sweet in taste and wrinkly in texture.

Kholas

These golden-brown dates have a unique, toasted flavor and medium-thickness skin.

Medjool

These expensive and delicious dates are widely distributed around the world and have a meaty, juicy, and nutrient-dense composition that makes them very popular. According to USDA, they are extremely nutritious and are rich in energy, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.

Zahidi

With a large inner seed and crunchy flesh, this type of date is often used to make other products, such as date sugar or extracts.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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