Half-ripe dates hit local markets

Half-ripe dates hit local markets

 23 Jul 2017 – 0:54

A shop keeper selling half-ripe dates at an outlet at Omani Market in Abu Hamour Central Market, yesterday.

The time is ripe to taste and enjoy the half-ripe dates which have begun to come in the local market. The vendors at the market are showcasing over a half dozen verities of fresh dates came from local farms, The Peninsula has noted.

“Half-ripe fresh dates have started coming from Qatari farms to Omani Market, said Abdurrazzaq,” a vendor at the Market. “We are offering large varieties of fresh dates at the prices ranging from QR10 to QR20 per kg as per the quality of the fruit,” he added.

Half-ripe dates are also available at various commercial outlets including major shopping malls, supermarkets and grocery stores at reasonable prices, The Peninsula noted.

Regarding the demands of fresh dates, Anwar Ahmad, another vendor said that there is pretty good demands of fresh dates from citizens and expatriates. And with increasing supply the demands will go up. Mostly people like half ripened date because after fully ripe it becomes very sweet.

Central Market has started attracting growing number of customers of dates. “I am very fond of half-ripe fresh dates and I saw it yesterday at a shopping mall,” said Reza Khan, a consumer. “Then I decided to come to central market because fresh dates come here every day,” he added.  Some local farms have started harvesting half-ripened dates for sending to local markets for sale while others are picking up in limited quantity for their personal uses, farmers told The Peninsula.

“Fruits have started turning into yellowish giving signal that they would ripe in within a couple of week,” said Absarul Haq, who is in-charge of a farm having about 1,000 palm trees at suburb of Umm Salal.

He added “we have been harvesting about 10kg of half-ripened dates from our farm per day since last one week for the personal uses of the owner. Within ten days from now, we will be able to harvest in large quantity for commercial purpose, he added.

Speaking on the production of the farm, Absarul said “ the production of our farm was about 80 tonnes last year and this year we are also expecting a pretty good harvest.”

Dates ripen in four stages, which are known throughout the world by their Arabic names kimri (unripe), khlal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried)

A verity of dates are produced in Qatar. They are Khanizi, Khazrawi, Khalas, Ghar, Sultana, Sukkari, Tunasi, Iraqi, Barhi, Khasab, Dajlanoor, Shahla, Lulu, Zarir, Hilali, Jabri, Bint Yusuf, Shishi, Um Raihan and Murjiyan.

Date fruits are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction.

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