date palm
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''Phoenix dactylifera'', commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family,
Arecaceae The Arecaceae is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of socie ...

Arecaceae
, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit called dates. The species is widely cultivated across northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. ''P. dactylifera'' is the
type species In zoological nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted Convention (norm), convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific name, scientific naming of organisms treated as animals. It is als ...
of genus '' Phoenix'', which contains 12–19 species of wild date palms. Date trees typically reach about in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Date fruits (dates) are oval-cylindrical, long, and about in diameter, with colour ranging from bright red to bright yellow, depending on variety. Containing 61–68 percent sugar by mass when dried, dates are very sweet and are enjoyed as desserts on their own or within
confections Confectionery is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definitio ...
. Dates have been cultivated in the Middle East and the
Indus Valley The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including tw ...

Indus Valley
for thousands of years. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Arabia from the 6th millennium BCE. The total annual world production of dates amounts to 8.5 million
metric tons The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metric system, having the unit symbol kg. I ...
, countries of the Middle East and North Africa being the largest producers and consumers.


Etymology

The species name ''dactylifera'' 'date-bearing' comes from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
words (), which means 'date' (also 'finger'), and (), which means 'I bear'. The
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
is known as a date. The fruit's English name (through
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
), as well as the Latin both come from the Greek word for 'finger', , because of the fruit's elongated shape.


History

The place of origin of date palm is uncertain because of long cultivation. According to some sources it probably originated from the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental orga ...

Fertile Crescent
region straddling Egypt and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
while others state that they are native to the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
area or even western India. Fossil records show that the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years. Dates have been a
staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of pla ...

staple food
of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years, and there is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in
Mehrgarh Mehrgarh (; ur, ) is a Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 yea ...

Mehrgarh
, a Neolithic civilization in western Pakistan, around 7000 BCE and in
eastern Arabia Eastern Arabia was historically known as ''Al-Bahrain'' ( ar, اَلْبَحْرَيْنِ) until the 18th century. This region stretched from the south of Basra along the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xa ...
between 5530 and 5320 . Dates have been cultivated since ancient times from
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
to
prehistoric Egypt The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the vernacular, common title now us ...
. The
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 (according to ) with the political unification of u ...

ancient Egypt
ians used the fruits to make date
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing heat in the process. Different v ...

wine
and ate dates at harvest. Evidence of cultivation is continually found throughout later civilizations in the Indus Valley, including the
Harappa Harappa (; Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The regi ...

Harappa
n period from 2600 to 1900 BCE. In
Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
the palm fronds used in triumphal processions to symbolize victory were most likely those of ''P. dactylifera''. The date palm was a popular garden plant in Roman
peristyle 200px, Split's center at Peristyle within Diocletian's Palace. 200px, ''In the Peristyle'', John William Waterhouse (1849–1917). Rochdale Art Gallery, Rochdale, England. In Ancient Greek architecture, Hellenistic Greek and Ancient Roman ar ...

peristyle
gardens, though it would not bear fruit in the more temperate climate of Italy. It is recognizable in frescoes from
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is ...

Pompeii
and elsewhere in Italy, including a garden scene from the House of the Wedding of Alexander. In later times, traders spread dates around southwest Asia, northern Africa, and Spain. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards in 1765, around Mission San Ignacio. One
cultivar A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits, which are reproduced in each new generation by a method such as grafting, tissue culture or carefully controlled seed production. Most cultivars arise from purposeful human ...
, the
Judean date palm The Judean date palm is a date palm ''Phoenix dactylifera'', commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. The species is widely cultivated across Northe ...
, is renowned for its long-lived
orthodox seed Orthodox seeds are seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which ...
, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2,000 years. The upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown. A genomic study from New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology showed that domesticated date palm varieties from North Africa, including well-known varieties such as Medjool and
Deglet Nour Deglet Nour also spelled Deglet Noor (Modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaborati ...
, are a hybrid between Middle East date palms and the Cretan wild palm, ''P. theophrasti''. Date palms appear in the archaeological record in North Africa about 2,800 years ago, suggesting that the hybrid was spread by the Minoans or
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...
.


Description

Date trees typically reach about in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are long, with spines on the
petiole Petiole may refer to: *Petiole (botany), the stalk of a leaf, attaching the blade to the stem *Petiole (insect anatomy), the narrow waist of some hymenopteran insects {{disambiguation ...
, and
pinnate Pinnation (also called pennation) is the arrangement of feather Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on dinosaurs, both avian (bird) and some non-avian (non-bird) and possibly other archosaur ...
, with about 150 leaflets. The leaflets are long and wide. The full span of the crown ranges from . The date palm is
dioecious Dioecy (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as o ...
, having separate male and female plants. They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality. Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars. Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants. Dates are naturally wind
pollinated Pollination is the transfer of pollen from a male part of a plant to a female part of a plant, later enabling fertilisation Fertilisation or fertilization (see spelling differences), also known as generative fertilisation, syngamy and im ...

pollinated
, but in both traditional
oasis In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

oasis
horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as orn ...
and in the modern commercial orchards they are entirely pollinated manually. Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants. However, with assistance, one male can
pollinate Pollination is the transfer of pollen File:Pollen Tube.svg, Pollen Tube Diagram Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm ...

pollinate
up to 100 females. Since the males are of value only as pollinators, this allows the growers to use their resources for many more fruit-producing female plants. Some growers do not even maintain any male plants, as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time. Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on
ladder A ladder is a vertical Vertical may refer to: * Vertical direction In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomic ...

ladder
s, or by use of a wind machine. In some areas such as Iraq the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber's back (called in Arabic) to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing. Date fruits are oval-cylindrical, long, and diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...
about long and thick. Three main
cultivar groupA Group (previously cultivar-groupInternational Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 4th edition (1969), 5th edition (1980) and 6th edition (1995)) is a formal category in the ''International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants The ' ...
s of date exist: soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', ' Medjool'); semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', '
Deglet Nour Deglet Nour also spelled Deglet Noor (Modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaborati ...
', 'Zahdi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory'). The type of fruit depends on the
glucose Glucose is a simple with the . Glucose is the most abundant , a subcategory of s. Glucose is mainly made by and most during from water and carbon dioxide, using energy from sunlight, where it is used to make in s, the most abundant carbohydr ...

glucose
,
fructose Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a ketonic simple sugar Monosaccharides (from Greek language, Greek ''wikt:μόνος, monos'': single, ''sacchar'': sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest form of sugar and the most basic units (monomers ...

fructose
, and
sucrose Sucrose is a type of sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, refers to sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose a ...

sucrose
content.


Genome

In 2009, a team of researchers at the
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) is a branch of Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University Cornell University ( ) is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra C ...
published a draft version of the date palm genome (Khalas variety). The draft genome sequence was improved in 2019 with the release of a more complete genome sequence using small molecule real-time sequencing technology by a team from the New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the UAE University Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in the United Arab Emirates. With the release of this improved genome assembly, the UAE researchers were able to map genes for fruit color and sugar content. The NYU Abu Dhabi researchers had also re-sequenced the genomes of several date varieties to develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism map of the date palm genome in 2015.


Cultivation

Dates are a traditional crop throughout the Middle East and north Africa. Dates (especially Medjool and
Deglet Nour Deglet Nour also spelled Deglet Noor (Modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaborati ...
) are also cultivated in the southwestern United States, and in
Sonora Sonora (), officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora ( en, Free and Sovereign State of Sonora), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blank1_info_sec1 ...
and
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula The Baja California Peninsula ( en, Lower California Peninsula, es, Península de Baja California) is a ...
in Mexico. Date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and start producing viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 and 10 years. Mature date palms can produce of dates per harvest season. They do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required. To obtain fruit of marketable quality, the bunches of dates must be thinned and bagged or covered before ripening so that the remaining fruits grow larger and are protected from weather and animals, such as birds, that also like to eat them. Date palms require well-drained deep
sandy loam Soil types by clay, silt and sand composition as used by the United States Department of Agriculture The definition of Loam (in geology and soil science) is soil Soil (often stylized as SOiL) is an American rock band that was formed in Chicago ...
soils with a pH of 8–11 (alkaline). The soil should have the ability to hold moisture and also be free of
calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together ...

calcium carbonate
. An article on date palm tree cultivation is contained in
Ibn al-'Awwam Ibn al-'Awwam ( ar, ابن العوام), also called Abu Zakariya Ibn al-Awwam ( ar, أبو زكريا بن العوام) and Abū l-Khayr al-Ishbīlī, was a Muslim Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , ...
's 12th-century agricultural work, ''Book on Agriculture''.


Production

In 2019, world production of dates was 9 million
tonne The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metric system, having the unit symbol kg. I ...
s, led by
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
,
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
, and
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is ...

Algeria
with 61% of the world total combined (table).


Cultivars

A large number of date cultivars and varieties emerged through history of its cultivation, but the exact number is difficult to assess. Hussain and El-Zeid (1975) have reported 400 varieties, while Nixon (1954) named around 250. Most of those are limited to a particular region, and only a few dozen have attained broader commercial importance. The most renowned cultivars worldwide include
Deglet Noor Deglet Nour also spelled Deglet Noor (Modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaborati ...
, originally of Algeria; Yahidi and Hallawi of Iraq; Medjool of Morocco;
Mazafati Mazafati ( fa, مضافتی; also called Muzati in Balochi or mozafati and bam date) is a cultivar '' 'Pink Whirls' A cultivar selected for its intriguing and colourful flowers A cultivarCultivar () has two denominations as explained in ''#Fo ...
of Iran.


Diseases and pests

A major palm pest, the red palm beetle (''''), currently poses a significant threat to date production in parts of the Middle East as well as to iconic landscape specimens throughout the Mediterranean world. Pinhas et al 2008 uses
piezoelectric sensor A piezoelectric sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect Piezoelectricity is the electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Th ...

piezoelectric sensor
s and
speech recognition Speech recognition is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops Methodology, methodologies and technologies that enable the recognition and translation of spoken language into text by computers ...

speech recognition
technology to detect ''R. ferrugineus''. They achieved a 98% detection ratio on young ''P. dactylifera'' in very controlled laboratory conditions. In the 1920s, eleven healthy Medjool palms were transferred from Morocco to the United States where they were tended by members of the
Chemehuevi The Chemehuevi are an indigenous people of the Great Basin. They are the southernmost branch of Southern Paiute.
Chemehuevi
tribe in a remote region of Nevada. Nine of these survived and in 1935, cultivars were transferred to the " U.S. Date Garden" in
Indio, California Indio is a city in Riverside County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United ...
. Eventually this stock was reintroduced to Africa and led to the U.S. production of dates in
Yuma, Arizona Yuma ( coc, Yuum) is a city in and the county seat of Yuma County, Arizona, Yuma County, Arizona, United States. The city's population was 93,064 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, up from the 2000 United States Census, 2000 census pop ...
, and Bard, California.


Invasive species

Not all cities and countries have benefited with the date palms resilience and ease of growth. It has made the invasive species list in some parts of the United States, Canada and Australia but these references are to the related but inedible Canary Island Date Palm (''
Phoenix canariensis ''Phoenix canariensis'' is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...

Phoenix canariensis
'').


Uses


Fruits

Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as
almond The almond (''Prunus dulcis'', syn. ''Prunus amygdalus'') is a species of tree native to Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a ...

almond
s,
walnut A walnut is the Nut (fruit), nut of any tree of the genus ''Juglans'' (family Juglandaceae), particularly the Persian or English walnut, ''Juglans regia''. A walnut is the edible seed of a drupe, and thus not a true botanical nut. It is comm ...

walnut
s, pecans, candied
orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
and
lemon The lemon, ''Citrus limon'', is a species of small evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise ...

lemon
peel,
tahini Tahini or tahina is a Middle Eastern condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is served by itself (as a Dip (food), dip) or as a major ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva. Tahini is used in the cuisines of the Levant and ...

tahini
,
marzipan Marzipan is a confectionery, confection consisting primarily of sugar, honey, and almond meal (ground almonds), sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract. It is often made into Confectionery, sweets; common uses are chocolate-covered marzip ...
or
cream cheese Cream cheese is a soft, usually mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammals that produces milk to feed yo ...
. Pitted dates are also referred to as ''stoned dates''. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from
tajine A tajine or tagine is a Berber dish, named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It is also called ''maraq'' or ''marqa''. Etymology Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4t ...
s (tagines) in
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
to
pudding Pudding is a type of food that can be either a dessert or a savory (salty or spicy) dish that is part of the main meal. The modern American usage of the word ''pudding'' to denote primarily desserts has evolved over time from the originally ...

pudding
s, ''
ka'ak Ka'ak ( ar, كعك, also transliterated kaak) or Kahqa is the common Arabic language, Arabic word for biscuit, and can refer to several different types of baked goods produced throughout the Arab world and the Near East. The bread, in Middle Easter ...
'' (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items. Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called '''ajwa'', spread, date syrup or "honey" called "dibs" or '' rub'' in Libya, powder (date sugar),
vinegar Vinegar is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the s ...

vinegar
or
alcohol In , alcohol is an that carries at least one (−OH) bound to a atom. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol (ethyl alcohol), which is and is the main alcohol present in s. An important class of alcohols, of which ...
. Vinegar made from dates was a traditional product of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
. Recent innovations include
chocolate Chocolate is a food product made from roasted and ground Theobroma cacao, cacao pods, that is available as a liquid, solid or paste, on its own or as a flavoring agent in other foods. Cacao has been consumed in some form since at least the Ol ...

chocolate
-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of
champagne Champagne (, ) is a sparkling wine Sparkling wine is a wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from fermented grape juice. Yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus ...
, for special occasions and religious times such as
Ramadan * fa, رمضان, Ramazān * hi, रमज़ान, Ramzān * ku, ڕەمەزان, Remezan * ps, روژه, Rozha * so, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan * tr, Ramazan * ur, رمضان, Ramzān * diq, Remezan * sq, Ramazani , type = islam , longty ...

Ramadan
. When Muslims break fast in the , it is traditional to eat a date first. Reflecting the maritime trading heritage of
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...
, imported chopped dates are added to, or form the main basis of a variety of traditional dessert recipes including sticky toffee pudding,
Christmas pudding Christmas pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in Britain, Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It ...

Christmas pudding
and date and walnut loaf. They are particularly available to eat whole at Christmas time. Dates are one of the ingredients of HP Sauce, a popular British condiment. In Southeast Spain (where a large date plantation exists including UNESCO-protected Palmeral of Elche) dates (usually pitted with fried almond) are served wrapped in bacon and shallow fried. In Israel date syrup, termed ''silan'', is used while cooking chicken and also for sweets and desserts, and as a honey substitute. Dates are one of the ingredients of ''jallab'', a Middle-Eastern fruit syrup. In Pakistan, a viscous, thick syrup made from the ripe fruits is used as a coating for leather bags and pipes to prevent leaking.


Date forks

In the past, sticky dates were served using specialized small forks having two metal tines, called '':nb:Gaffel#Gaffeltyper, daddelgaffel'' in Scandinavia. Some designs were patented. These have generally been replaced by an inexpensive pale-colored knobbled plastic fork that resembles a date branch
example
, which is traditionally included with numerous brands of prepackaged trays of dates
example
, though this practice has declined in response to increased use of resealable packaging and calls for fewer Disposable product, single-use plastics.


Other parts


Seeds

Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. Their oil is suitable for use in cosmetics and dermatological applications. The oil contains lauric acid (36%) and oleic acid (41%). Date palm seeds contain 0.56–5.4% lauric acid. They can also be processed chemically as a source of oxalic acid. Date seeds are also ground and used in the manner of coffee beans, or as an additive to coffee. Experimental studies have shown that feeding mice with the aqueous extract of date pits exhibit anti-genotoxic effects and reduce DNA damage induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea.


Fruit clusters

Stripped fruit clusters are used as brooms. Recently, the floral stalks have been found to be of ornamental value in households.


Sap

Apart from ''P. dactylifera'', wild date palms such as ''Phoenix sylvestris'' and ''Phoenix reclinata'', depending on the region, can be also tapped for sap.


Leaves

Date palm leaves are used for Palm Sunday in the Christianity, Christian religion. In North Africa, they are commonly used for making huts. Mature leaves are also made into mats, screens, baskets, and fans. Processed leaves can be used for Thermal insulation, insulating board. Dried leaf Petiole (botany), petioles are a source of cellulose pulp, used for walking sticks, brooms, fishing floats, and fuel. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats. The leaves are used as a lulav in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. They are also commonly used as the s'chach in the construction of a sukkah. Young date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh . The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread.


Nutrition

Dates are 21% water, 75% carbohydrates, 2% protein (nutrient), protein, and less than 1% fat (table). In a reference amount, dates supply of food energy and are a moderate source (10-19% of the Daily Value) of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and the dietary minerals magnesium, manganese, and potassium, with other micronutrients in low amounts (table). A 2011 study found that the glycemic index (GI) for five different varieties of date had a range of 46–55, while a 2002 report showed GI values of 31-50, results indicating dates are a relatively low GI food source.


Phytochemicals

The caffeic acid glycoside 3-''O''-caffeoylshikimic acid (also known as dactylifric acid) and its isomers, are enzymic browning Substrate (biology), substrates found in dates.


In culture

Dates are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Qur'an. Many Jewish scholars believe that the "honey" reference in the Bible to "a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus chapter 3) is actually a reference to date "honey", and not honey from bees. In Islamic culture, dates and yogurt or milk are traditionally the first foods consumed for Iftar after the sun has set during
Ramadan * fa, رمضان, Ramazān * hi, रमज़ान, Ramzān * ku, ڕەمەزان, Remezan * ps, روژه, Rozha * so, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan * tr, Ramazan * ur, رمضان, Ramzān * diq, Remezan * sq, Ramazani , type = islam , longty ...

Ramadan
.


Symbolism

Date palms holds great significance in Abrahamic religions. The tree was heavily cultivated as a food source in History of ancient Israel and Judah, ancient Israel where Judaism and subsequently Christianity developed. In the Quran, Allah instructs ''Maryām'' (the Virgin Mary) to eat dates during labour pains when she gives birth to Isa (Jesus); and, similarly, they are recommended to pregnant women. In the Torah, palm trees are referenced as symbols of prosperity and triumph. In Psalm 92:12 "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree". Palm branches occurred as iconography in sculpture ornamenting the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, on Jewish coins, and in the sculpture of synagogues. They are also used as ornamentation in the Feast of the Tabernacles. Date palms are one of the Seven Species, seven species of native Israeli plants revered in Judaism. The date palm has historically been considered a symbol of Judea (Roman province), Judea and the Jewish people.


Gallery

File:Dried date, peach, apricot, and stones. From Lahun, Fayum, Egypt. Late Middle Kingdom. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London.jpg, Dried date, peach, and apricot from Lahun, Fayum, Egypt. Late Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom File:Emblem of Saudi Arabia.svg, Date Palm in the Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia Image:Freshdates.JPG, Fresh dates, clockwise from top right: crunchy, crunchy opened, soft out of skin, soft Image:Date-seller.jpg, Date seller in the old souq in Kuwait City


References


External links


Date palm cultivation
(Food and Agriculture Organization)
Date palm products
(additional information from the FAO) {{Authority control Date palm, Desert fruits Drought-tolerant trees Edible palms Garden plants of Africa Garden plants of Asia Ornamental trees Phoenix (plant), dactylifera Plants described in 1753, Date palm Trees of Africa Tropical agriculture Tropical fruit Fruit trees Plants in the Bible