Fresh Dates Of Ramadan

Fresh red dates (huluwa dates) and yellow dates (barhi dates)
Fresh red dates (huluwa dates) and yellow dates (barhi dates).

The highlight of the holy month of Ramadan for non-Muslims must surely be the mind-boggling array of delicacies for breaking fast at the bazaars. I have yet to visit one but I know what I like about Ramadan. It is neither the ayam golek, bubur lambuk nor the mouth-watering kuihs though.

I like the fresh dates from the Middle East most. They are available only during Ramadan. I had some last years and liked them very much. There are two varieties – red (huluwa dates) and yellow (barhi dates). Wuan bought some for me from the fruit stall near her work place last week. The huluwa dates are elongated while the barhi dates have a rather roundish shape. Both are astringent when they are unripe.

The huluwa dates ripen quicker. Their skin turns dark red, almost brownish, and becomes wrinkled and soft. The wrinkled ones I had smelt fermented and were unsavoury. I am not sure if they were rotten. On the other hand, the barhi dates ripen very slowly. The skin turns a darker shade as they ripen. The firm and unripe ones were slightly astringent and slightly sweet at the same time. I like the crunchiness as well. Hmm, I better stock up on the barhi dates before the supply runs out at the end of Ramadan.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

4 thoughts on “Fresh Dates Of Ramadan”

  1. Hi Peter,

    I’ve been buying these red n yellow fresh “frozen” dates from one of the Arabic Restaurant in my area. My family love to eat dates very much. Would you be able to tell me where Wuan bought these fresh dates? From your picture, it doesn’t looks like it’s frozen dates, am I correct?

    1. Hi Bee How, Those are unfrozen fresh dates. The fruit stall is located at a side lane diagonally opposite Bank Simpanan Nasional in Lebuh Ampang.

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