by Ghaz Syed
Just as Medjool is known as King of Dates in North America, Sukkari is the most highly prized, most sought after date in the East… and rightfully so.
During one of my visits to the East, in the company of strangers, dates were passed around as the sun set on a warm desert night. It was like a scene out of a movie, and I was totally entranced by the soft, moist and succulent Sukkari that I was given. I was hooked from the first bite. Upon returning to North America and after searching far and wide, I was disappointed when I couldn’t find Sukkari dates in any of the small, boutique stores, nor the big, brand grocery retailers. It was out of the need to feed my new pure addiction to this unique date that the Royal Dates legacy was born, hence why Sukkari will always be our Queen of Dates.
Most dates that people have encountered are dried dates, within the date life cycle I have included below. Sukkari however is not a dried date, which is why it last longer when refrigerated. Sukkari dates are harvested in the wet date stage, also known as Rutub stage. Sukkari, like Barhi, are among the rare dates that are harvested and eaten in their wet stage. It is this unique characteristic that makes Sukkari dates very distinctive. Soft, moist, caramel-like sweetness, many call them nature’s candy.
The stages of date ripening
Dates, as well as having different colors, tastes and textures throughout their ripening stages, they also have different names in Arabic for each stage.
|First Stage||1 week||Hababook||The dates are small round and light green with horizontal stripes.|
|Second Stage||5-17 weeks||Green Date||Kimri||The dates become oval, greener and are bitter.|
|Third Stage||19-25 weeks||Red/Yellow Date||Khalal||The next stage is the early ripening stage where the dates are yellow or red, have grown to their full size and taste crunchy but dry with a slight sweet taste.
This is where you would get a Barhi date with a crunchy outer shell.
|Fourth Stage||20-28 weeks||Wet Date||Rutub||This stage the date is ripe, soft and moist. At this stage you are enjoying the delightful Sukkari dates.|
|Final Stage||29 weeks||Dried Date||Tamar||Final stage of ripening. At this stage you will find the Saggae, Ajwa and Medjool date.|
People know a Medjool date to be one of the moistest of dry dates, just like our Saggae dates, both pale in comparison to the moistness offered by a Sukkari date. Golden and soft, this is pure melt-in-your-mouth goodness is chock full of nutrients, making it the perfect alternative to sugary treats for any diet.
Just as we had expected, Sukkari’s introduction to North America was embraced with open arms when The Big Carrot, Arz Fine Foods, McEwan and Longos added our Queen of Dates to their date selection. It was not too long ago, during a sampling event at The Big Carrot when a customer stated after taking the first bite of Sukkari “Ah! This is like no other date I’ve tasted before. Fruit of the heavens!” For more information on the variety of dates available and best uses, please contact us