A Date with Destiny
What better way to celebrate a bond than by bonding over food? Like all festivals, Raksha Bandhan is ushered in with a taste of something sweet. The occasion is incomplete without a mouthful of mithai. But if you want to be a part of the festivities without adding to your waistline, dates are your best friend this season.
Bustaan’s selection of the finest dates from around the world are packed with a delightful sweetness that will make you forget all about the mithai platter.
These tropical stone fruits are treasured in Middle Eastern cultures in which they are commonly said to have healing powers. Palate pleasing and full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and slow-release natural sugars, they make the perfect guilt-free treat. Here’s a snapshot of what you can tuck into this Raksha Bandhan.
Known for their large size, soft texture and rich flavour, Medjool dates are interestingly categorised as fresh fruit. These dates contain natural sugar and a good amount of fibre, which slows the release of carbohydrates to give you sustained energy rather than a sudden spike in blood sugar. They’re also low in fat and packed with nutrients like potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K. But more than anything else, the Medjool date’s rich, caramel-like flavour and soft, chewy texture will have you reaching for it all day.
Safawi dates are characterised by their deep dark hue and come packed with vitamins and minerals. Bite into Safawi dates to enjoy their crisp exterior which gives way to a fudge-like centre and almost malty flavour.
This dry variant of dates from Saudi Arabia is known in local folklore to have healing effects. It is considered to be a natural and complete source of nutrition, and has a wonderfully soft texture and fruity flavour.
Sourced from the finest farms in Saudi Arabia, Khidris are large dates with striking maroon-red skin and sweet chewy flesh reminiscent of raisins. Their sugar content is lower than that of other dates and they are considered to be the healthier choice.
Mazafati dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits in Iran. These succulent, honey dates are said to be a boon to skin health and slow ageing.
The Deglet Noor or ‘queen of dates’ is well known for its superior quality. It is known as ‘finger of light’ in common parlance for its translucent colour and elegant form. It has a distinct snappy crunch that makes it a pleasure to bite into. Deglet dates are low in sugar with a nutty finish like browned butter and cashew.