Kabkab dates are amongst the most important and abundant date varieties in south Iran. Typically bigger than other kinds of date fruit, it is a high grade date that can be grown in the more tropical cities of Iran. It is considered one of the premium varieties of date, cultivated to the highest of standards, and is moist, sweet and delicious.
History: Kabkab dates can be grown in most tropical cities of Iran. Amongst the most prominent regions in Kabkab date production is the Khesht and Kamarj areas of Kazerun, one of the most expensive cities in Fars province. Here, in the southwest of Iran, the dry and hot weather has resulted in prosporous date palm cultivation. In fact, annually, about 30,000 tonnes of dates are produced over Kazaran's 600 acres of date farms. In addition, Kabkab dates are also grown in large quantities in Dashtestan city, in the Borazjan area of Bushehr province, where they are the only exported produce and are therefore extremely important to the city's economy. Again, they grow well here due to the hot climate, which results in the abundant growth of date palms. In fact, Dashtestan city was the first place in Iran to produce date palms and citrus fruits and today has around 16,250 hectares of land dedicated to palm cultivation.
Description: Kabkab dates are considered a wet variety of date due to their high mosture content of around 18%. They are long, oval and around 3.5-4cm in size and vary from yellow to dark brown in colour depending on ripeness. Kabkab dates have a soft, fine texture and and a hard skin due to their long, grey pit that clings to the flesh. They are popular for their delicious, sweet, syrupy taste.
Grown in: Unlike some varieties of dates, the production of Kakab dates is not confined to one specific area. They are grown in a number of cities across Iran. Predominantly, they are grown in the cities of Khesht and Kamarj in the Kazerun area of Fars province, Dashtestan city in the Borazjan area of the Bushehr province, and Behbahan city in the southeast of Khuzestan province. Produciton of Kabkab dates is also found in other areas of Iran with suitable conditions for grown, including Khormuj, Behbahan, Kazerun, Jahrom and Tabas. The produced Kabkab dates vary slightly from place to place; Kabkab dates grown in Behbahan, for example, are smaller, sweeter and more full of syrup then those grown elsewhere. Kabkab dates are also available pitted and unpitted.
Harvesting period: Kabkab dates are usually harvested in mid September.
Production: Because it is produced to such a high quality, the Kabkab date falls just behind Astamaran, Shahani and Mazafati dates as having the most economic value in Iran. These dates have such economic weight simply because they are considered represent the best quality of dates available. Kabkab production is therefore eextremely important to Iran's agriculture industry and economy.
Exportation and consumer markets: Kabkab is one of the major varieties of date fruit and boasts an impressive annual yield. Whilst the largest portion of this Kabkab dates are consumed in domestic markets, continued growth and high quality in recent years has meant that steps have been taken for exporting Kabkab dates internationally, so that more people can enjoy one of Iran's best loved produce.
Storage and shelf life: As a wet date fruit, Kabkab can be kept under normal room temperatures for about 6 months with interim fumigation. Refrigeration is not required, but keeping Kabkab dates in a dry and cold environment will mean they keep for longer.
Nutritional content and health benefits: All date varieties, of which Kabkab is no exception, have a high nutritional value due to the natural nutritious substances they contain. Kabkab dates are made up of 70% carbohydrates, mainly in the form of simple sugars, which make it one of the most naturally nurishing foods out there. Date fruit can be great option for those whose bodies cannot tolerate sucrose, as its sugar content is made up of almost entirely glucose and fructose, known as invert sugars. Unlike sucrose, which some people have difficulty digesting, invert sugar found in dates can be absorbed by the human body almost immediately, making them a great alternative to other sugary snacks. The flesh of the date fruit contains around 60-65% sugar, 2.5% fibre, 2% protein and only a trace amount of fat. Dates can also provide our bodies with essential minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium and, to a lesser extent, phosporous, copper and magnesium, all of which have their own unique health benefits. Iron will help to prevent anaemia and encourage production of red blood cells, potassium can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, calcium is vital for maintianing healthy teeth and bones, and magnesium supports a healthy immune system. They are also packed full of fibre, which is essential for good digestivehealth. What's more, dates contain hardly any sodium, too much of which can be a contributor to high blood pressure.