Iteema Dates: Appearance, Price, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Iteema Dates: Appearance, Price, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Iteema dates are one of the popular varieties of dates found in North Africa. They are also known as Athema dates. Iteema khajoor are tiny, oval fruits that taste both sweet and nutty. They are not only a delightful treat for the taste buds but also a nutritious addition to your diet.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Iteema dates, their origins, characteristics, and the many reasons why they have become a favourite among date enthusiasts worldwide.

Origin, Geographical Presence and Seasonal Availability

Iteema dates are a soft, amber-colored variety that originated in Algeria. They have been cultivated in North Africa for centuries, and are particularly popular in Algeria, where they are a staple of the diet.

The history of iteema dates in Algeria is long and complex. Some scholars believe that they were introduced to the region over 3,000 years ago. Others argue that they are a native Algerian variety that has been cultivated for even longer.

Regardless of their origins, Athema dates have played an important role in Algerian culture for centuries. They are mentioned in Algerian art and literature from the past and are often used in traditional recipes.

In recent years, Athema dates have become increasingly popular in other parts of the world, such as the United States and Europe. This is due in part to their unique flavor and texture, as well as their growing reputation for health benefits.

Seasonal Availability

Iteema dates are typically available from late September to early November.

Characteristics of Iteema Khajoor

Appearance and Texture

Iteema dates - origin - texture - taste - price - culinary benefits - nutritional benefits

Iteema khajoor, like Maktoom dates, are larger than average.

They range in size from tiny to medium, and their colour ranges between red and dark brown.

Their skin is likely to seem only minimally wrinkled supple and moist.

Their flesh is succulent and easy to chew.

Flavour

The sweetness of Iteema dates is legendary. They have a thick syrupy sweetness with hints of honey and caramel.

Depending on how ripe they are, the flavour of these dates can range from subtly sweet to very sugary. Unripe Iteema dates may have a slightly tart flavour whereas riped Iteema dates have a strong caramel flavour.

Moisture Content

Iteema dates have a moisture content of 20 to 25%.

Nutritional Values in Iteema Dates

Iteema khajoor are a good source of fibre, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain vitamins B1, B2, and B6. Fiber is important for digestive health, and potassium and magnesium are important for muscle function and blood pressure regulation.

Nutritional Value per 100 g of Iteema dates
Energy282 Cal
Cholesterol0 mg
Total Carbs75.03 g
Dietary Fiber8 g
Sugars63.35 g
Sodium2 mg
Protein2.45 g
Caclium39 mg
Potassium656 mg

Culinary Uses of Iteema Khajur

Culinary Uses of Iteema Dates

Iteema dates are incredibly versatile when it comes to culinary applications. You can use these dates to create energy balls, date smoothies, and various other wholesome treats. These dates bring a unique sweetness to smoothies, salads, and baked goods, elevating the overall flavour profile of these dishes.

Due to their size and texture, Iteema khajoor are particularly suitable for making date juice, perfect for quenching your thirst or adding a natural sweetener to your beverages.

Across Middle Eastern cuisines, Athema dates are a staple ingredient, whether they are used fresh, dried, or in cooked dishes. Their versatility allows them to seamlessly complement both sweet and savoury preparations.

Iteema dates can be a delightful addition to Moroccan tajines, puddings, or Arab biscuits like ka’ak, or in main courses.

In various Islamic nations, Iteema dates also hold cultural significance. They are often enjoyed during important events and holy periods like Ramadan. Chocolate-covered dates and sparkling date juice serve as non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional celebratory beverages like champagne.

It is customary for Muslims to begin their evening meal, breaking the fast during Ramadan, with a date. The sweetness of Iteema dates provides an initial burst of energy and satisfaction during this sacred time.

Beyond Middle Eastern cuisine, Iteema dates find their way into international dishes. Chopped Iteema khajur contributes to the rich, indulgent flavours of British holiday desserts such as sticky toffee pudding, Christmas pudding, and the date and walnut bread. Their natural sweetness enhances the overall taste of these beloved desserts.

Price

The average price of Iteema dates is 500 to 800 INR per kg in India and 5 to 7 USD per pound in the USA.

Final Thoughts

Iteema khajur are smooth and creamy, making them a go-to for snackers who prioritize health without sacrificing flavour.  You may eat them as a snack or incorporate them into your meals because they are an excellent source of energy.

Some of the other dates similar to Iteema dates are Khadrawi dates and Barhi dates. Khadrawi Dates are popular in the Middle East and North Africa. They are often compared to Iteema Dates for their similar texture and taste.

Barhi dates offer a delightful combination of sweetness and nuttiness, making them a good alternative for those who enjoy the flavour profile of Iteema Dates.

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