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Dates the most popular fruit and an integral part of Ramadan feast

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: Dates are the most common fruit to be found with almost every iftar meal. It is one of the most loved fruits among Muslims for several reasons. To break one’s fasting with dates is recommended by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which makes dates special among Muslims and very popular especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Besides, it has scientifically proven benefits for the human body.

After being requested and preferred by many people, stores have started selling dates of different types by adding a touch of creativity through stuffing and/or coating them to enhance their flavor, which has transformed it from a basic fruit into a one that comes in different shapes, flavors and prices. Kuwait Times asked Ayman Pasha, sales manager at a local dates store in Shuwaikh, about the most popular types of dates and their prices.

“There are so many types of dates that differ in taste, texture quality and price, such as ikhlas Al-Hasa, ikhlas Al-Kharj and ikhlas Al-Qassem, which is the most sought after type for its quality and color, in addition to dry dates. There are also stuffed dates, like siqea with almonds, majdool with walnuts, majdool with halva, ikhlas with cashew, khudri with cashew and many other stuffings, which vary in their prices,” Pasha said.

“The average price is between KD 3.500 to KD 5 per kilogram depending on the kind of stuffing. The prices of the dates differ based on their type, as the quality differs, but are affordable for everyone,” he added. Abu Abdullah, a middle-aged man, said dates revitalize energy of people who are fasting, after being on an empty stomach all day. Dates compensate the sugar they lose while fasting. So, eating dates balances the vitamins and minerals that their body needs to stay healthy and strong.

Another thing that makes dates special to Muslims is that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught Muslims to break their fast with dates, as he used to do. This makes Muslims consider eating dates as obeying their Prophet’s (PBUH) advice. Kuwait Times asked Abu Abdullah about his thoughts about the new types of dates. “Dates are no longer a simple fruit that can be bought for very cheap price. Today, buying dates can exceed KD 10,” he said. According to him, adding extra fillings and/or coatings to the dates have changed their simplicity and increased prices.

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