Medjool dates as the “diamond of dates” are typical for their special attributes, as they are large in size, have a special sweet caramel-like and juicy fresh taste even when they are dried. They are originally from Middle East and North Africa however; they can be grown in some desert-like regions successfully. Medjool dates are typically considered as important part of middle easterners’ cuisine and daily diet. There are high quality types of Medjool dates that cultivated in Iran which is absolutely comparable with their best quality ones grown in other regions. Medjool dates are a healthier alternative to more caloric desserts as they are rich in essential minerals with only about 66 calories in each dates.
Due to the sensitivity of this type of dates to air quality and soil moisture, it is often much harder to grow them in best practices compare to other varieties of fruit dates which can cause of their relatively high price.
Organic Medjool Date
When talking about organic foods, we are referring to those foods which are plant and animal based and are produced by natural processes, without any genetic modification, and without the use of any chemicals such as preservatives, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides which are often used on foods to make them more aesthetically appealing to consumers or for practical purposes such as prolonging shelf life.
One such organic food is the organic Medjool date fruit. Medjool dates are recognised for their higher nutritional value in terms of calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin C. They are larger than most other varieties of date and have a high moisture content, succulent flesh and distinctive sweet taste – leading them to be hailed as the ‘king of dates’. What’s most impressive, is that this type of date is cultivated without the use of any fertilizers or chemicals.
Organic Medjool dates are generally dark in color. Unlike other non-organic date fruits which are often manipulated for colour consistency, Medjool dates often vary in colour depending on the soil of the fields in which they are grown. However, not all producers grow dates organically – in fact, in Iran, the only active organic production is found in Fars province.
The organic Medjool date is nutritionally rich. It is packed full of fibre which helps to promote hearth health. Fibrous foods are effective in clearing and facilitating the gastrointestinal system and relieving constipation; for best results, it is recommended to soak 4-6 organic Medjool dates overnight, then crush and consume them the following morning like syrup. It also contains an impressive amount of potassium – more, in fact, that a banana – and is therefore effective in relieving stroke, lowering blood pressure, preventing heart and kidney disorders, reducing anxiety and stress, enhancing muscle health, boosting metabolism and improving the nervous system. When compared with other dates, the organic Medjool date is particularly vitamin rich, and also has a high mineral content, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, as well as a small amount of calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorous.
Research has concluded that dates, particularly organic date fruit, should be incorporated into our diets due to their antioxidant content. Regular consumption of antioxidant rich foods such as blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichoke hearts, cranberries and dates is thought to help prevent diabetes, heart disease, certain neurological problems and even cancer. In addition, its nicotine content can be effective in curing an array of intestinal disorders.
Medjool Date palm
Date palms were one of the very first plants cultivated by man. There are hundreds of varieties of date palm; whilst the semi-dry Deglet Noor date palm is the most widely grown, the Medjool date palm is perhaps the most famous.
These tropical and subtropical plants require a certain climate in which to grow. Medjool palms need a full sun environment in order for them to grow correctly and, as such, are cultivated only in tropical countries. They are typically grown during the six warmest months of the year, where they receive an adequate amount of water; however, rain and winter weather can hinder growth rate and even spoil crops. In fact, one factor which makes Medjool palms unique is their ability to withstand drought and high temperatures.
Typically, it takes around three years for a rooted offshoot to bloom for the first time. Then, a year later, the Medjool palm will bear crops. After 5-6 years of cultivation, the Medjool palm will eventually bear ripe crops. Interestingly, there are both female and male varieties of the Medjool palm and only the female kind is able to bear crop. Female offshoot of the Medjool palm grow slowly, taking around 18-36 months to develop from the main palm and grow outwards. Eventually, after 3-4 years, the offshoot will separate from the main Medjool palm.
Medjool palms vary in size, depending on growth-effecting factors, and their trunk size usually ranges from between 8-25m. They are attractive to look at and, as well as producing the Medjool date, are used for both commercial and residential design purposes.