Sayer dates, also known as Stamaran, Saamaran, Stamara or Samberun dates, are another delicious variety of date produced in Iran, and account for 65% of the dates produced there. Along with Zahedi dates, they are the main variety of dates produced in Khuzestan province. They are one of the highest quality dates produced in Iran and, as such, have high export value.
History: In 1999-2000, taking into account all varieties of dates (dried, semi-dried and fresh), Iran produced over one million tonnes of dates - that's an impressive 20% of the total world production. Iran has 180,000 hectares of palm groves dedicated to date fruit production, most of which are found in the provinces of Kerman, Bushehr, Khuzestan, Fars, Sistan-Baluchestan, Yazd, Kermanshah, Hormozgan and Semnan. Sayer dates are produced in Kermanshah province and have proven to be one of Iran's most important date varieties.
Description: Sayer dates are a semi-dried date with a sweet, unique taste. They are long and oval (sometimes rectangular) and about 2-5cm in size. Sayer dates start off yellow in colour, then turn to amber-coloured and then to reddish or dark brown as they ripen. They are available on the market either pitted Sayer Date or un-pitted Sayer Date.
Grown in: Sayer dates are grown almost exclusively in Khuzestan province, although it can be grown in most Southern cities of Iran. 70% of the palms in Khuzestan province are dedicated to Sayer date production. A percentage of Zahedi dates are harvested here too.
Harvesting period: Sayer dates are usually harvested in mid October.
Production: One of the most important things to note about Sayer date production is that, in Khuzestan province where they are grown, dates are cultivated without the use of any pesticides and chemicals. In other words, they are 100% organic.
Exportation and consumer markets: Unlike other varieties of dates (such as Kabkab, Khazravi, Gantar, Hallavi etc.) which are used only within internal and local markets, Sayer dates are one of Iran's leading date exports, making up 40% of all dates utilized in export and international markets. Whilst some varieties of dates may be unfamiliar to others outside the countries in which they are grown, Because of their export value and high quality, Sayer dates are known internationally particularly in countries such as Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand.
Storage and shelf life: With a moisture level of less than 17%, Sayer dates are considered a semi-dried date, allowing them to be kept for over a year in a tropical warehouse without the need for freezing. Despite being such a dry variety of date fruit, the way in which Sayer dates are stored allows them to remain healthy without refrigeration for two years, which has proved a significant factor in their exportation as it reduces transportation and storage costs. Because it is organic, however, particular care should be taken not to store the Sayer date alongside chemicals, potent foods such as fish and onions, and anywhere where oil is produced as they are susceptible to attracting odours which may spoil the fruit. They should also be kept in a dust-free environment.
Nutritional content and health benefits: All of the many varieties of dates produced in Iran are loaded with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fibre, antioxidants and simple sugars. For this reason, all Iranian date produce offers a wide range of health benefits for consumers, simply by eating them as part of our daily diet or by using them as food supplements in the meals we make.