Date Classification

Date are classified according to ripening stage and moisture content:

  • Khalals - AKA Yellow Dates - Khalals are harvested in early season, just before they begin to soften. They are cut and packed on the strings that they grow on. In their hard and yellow state they are crispy, crunchy, syrupy, and sweet but sometimes with a touch of astringency. Some people like to eat these dates in their crunchy state, while others prefer to let them ripen at home until they are soft, sweet, and juicy. They should not be refrigerated while ripening. Most varieties of dates can not be eaten in the khalal stage. Of the varieties we grow two can be eaten khalal, Barhi and Desert Gem. When shipped away from the hot, dry climate of the desert they can be unpredictable and sometimes may or may not ripen properly.
  • Rutab - AKA Wet Dates - When dates first begin to ripen many varieties have very high water content. Most growers allow them to hang on the tree a couple or three weeks longer till they dry down a little and can be handled more easily. We try to harvest as many as possible wet because they are incredibly delicious this way and more easily digestible.
  • Soft Dates - This class has gone through the wet phase, perhaps wrinkled a little, but are still soft and pliable. They sometimes acquire a caramel flavor and will keep well for many months in this condition. Barhi, Medjool, Halawi, Honey and Khadrawi are some of the more well known soft date varieties.
  • Semi Dry Dates - Going directly from khalal to semi dry these dates are never wet. They seem less sweet and are very non-perishable. The most common semi drys are Zahidi and Deglet Noor. They are not sticky and easier to handle. When harvested they can be stored in deep boxes.
  • Dry Dates - Dry dates are also known as bread dates. They have a delicious nutty flavor. They are actually very good and have quite a following. Just pop them in your mouth like a piece of candy or soak them in water to use in recipes.