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The origin of dates

Dates come from the Euphrates basin, where it has been established the oldest Eurasian civilization. Dates are cultivated there since 6000 to 8000 years.
From it place of origin, date is spread to the West in North Africa and to the East to India.

The palm date called « tree of Life » by the Chaldeans (Antique region of the Near East) is the tree which feeds people living near the desert because it is one of the few plants able to survive in the inhospitable environment of the desert. It is cultivated a lot in the Maghreb, Egypt and all the countries from the Nearand the Middle East.

The date Palm

The date palm has to get the feet in the water and the head in the fire.

Arab proverb

The date palm, which can reach 20m of height, is without branch, and its leaves growth at the top of the trunk. We need to wait the flowering season todistinguish the male palms from the female palms. Only one palm can pollinate hundred of females hence a predominance of female in the palm groves.

  • Producers plant females date palms carefully selected and practice the taking cuttings. This technique enables to multiply the commercial plantation.
  • This unisex « tree» needs to be fruitful the human help. Male inflorescences are shacked above female inflorescences.
  • Dates require many heat and sunshine for the maturation. We need to wait the autumn and summer heats in order that the fruits reach their final size, get the yellow color and then contain their sweet flavor.
  • The harvest can start in October. Dates are conditioned and then sold to be eaten during the year.

varieties of dates

Various varieties of Algerian dates

There are more than 300 varieties of dates, which are different in the form, the size but above all the texture.
The variety the most known is the Deglet Nour, well appreciated for it flesh that melts in the mouth and it unique honey tasting. The Deglet Nour, « finger of the light » in Arab, whichissold by SouaSoua, owes it name to it translucent color but also to it shape very long.

The other varieties:
  • Ghars : specific for making date paste.
  • Degla Beida : white date, dry and smooth, very appreciated in Africa.
  • Mech degla : first dates, which appear in august and then fall.
  • Tante boucht : spherical dates.
  • Tatezuine : cousin ofthe DegletNour is appreciated in Scandinavian countries.