Ramadan 2024: 8 Date Varieties To Know From Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is well-known for its cultural legacy and abundant oil reserves, but it also has a delicious secret: a wide variety of dates. These delicious fruits, which are commonly called the "fruit of paradise," play a significant role in Saudi Arabian food and culture. Dates, usually eaten to break the fast, take on added significance as the holy month of Ramadan progresses. Let us explore eight notable varieties of dates that are native to Saudi Arabia, each of which possesses a distinctive flavour profile and an attraction that is all its own. 


Ajwa dates hold a special place in Islamic tradition, believed to have originated from the city of Medina. They are revered for their soft texture, rich flavour, and dark colour. Ajwa dates are often described as moist and mildly sweet, with hints of caramel and nuttiness. They are highly sought after for their purported health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and aiding digestion. 


Al-Bakaya dates are prized for their large size and succulent flesh. These dates boast a creamy texture and a balanced sweetness, making them a popular choice for both snacking and cooking. With their plump appearance and satisfying taste, Al-Bakaya dates are a staple during Ramadan gatherings and celebrations.  


Safawi dates are characterized by their dark brown colour and soft, tender flesh. They have a unique caramel-like sweetness and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. These dates are often enjoyed fresh or used in desserts and confections. Safawi dates are a favourite among date lovers for their strong flavour and indulgent mouthfeel. 


Khalas dates are renowned for their golden-brown colour and rich, honeyed taste. They have a firm yet chewy texture and a mild sweetness that lingers on the palate. Khalas dates are prized for their versatility, commonly eaten as a snack or incorporated into both sweet and savoury dishes. Their natural sweetness makes them a perfect complement to savoury cheeses or as a filling for pastries. 


Sagai dates are distinguished by their elongated shape and dark colour. They have a firm texture and a subtly sweet flavour with hints of caramel and toffee. Sagai dates are often enjoyed as a nutritious snack or used in baking and cooking. Their robust flavour profile makes them a popular choice for adding depth to desserts and savouries alike. 


Khudri dates are known for their amber colour and chewy mouthfeel. They offer a balanced sweetness with notes of molasses and caramel, making them a versatile ingredient in various culinary applications. Khudri dates are commonly enjoyed on their own or paired with nuts for a wholesome snack. They are also used in traditional desserts and sweets during Ramadan festivities. 


Mabroom dates are prized for their elongated shape and soft, fleshy consistency. They have a very different sweet flavour with undertones of butterscotch and vanilla. Mabroom dates are often enjoyed fresh or incorporated into desserts, such as date cakes and puddings. Their natural sweetness and tender texture make them a lovely addition to any Ramadan table.  


Sukkary dates, also known as "sugar dates," are known for their exceptionally sweet taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture. They have a light golden colour and a rich, syrupy sweetness similar of caramelized sugar. Sukkary dates are a popular choice for satisfying sweet cravings during Ramadan and are often served as a decadent treat alongside Arabic coffee.