Dates are as old as the history of mankind. Dates have been basic food in the Middle East for thousands of years and it is know as "a tree of life". It is believed to have originated throughout the Middle East and the Persian Gulf and it was cultivated in ancient Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 6,000 BC.
For growing date palm special climate is needed as local say: "the date palm needs its feet in the water and its head in the fire of the sky".
The fruit grown in rich red to golden bunches that weigh up to 10kg each containing up to 200 dates. There are usually 8-12 bunches per tree and both female and male date palms flower at the end of February. The flower of the male tree is sweet and is eaten as bread in some area of Iran. That of the female is bitter, but it is only the female flower that bears fruit. Date fruit composed of three sections of chow, hard stone and cap.
Dates are naturally lowest in moisture, grown in the arid desert. While most fruits range from 75 to 95 percent moisture, fresh whole dates are less than 30 percent moisture which makes them Nature’s only naturally dried fruit. About 400 varieties of dates are cultivated in Iran but only few of them are commercially important. What separates dates from each other is the type of Weather Climate in different parts of Iran.
The date crop in Iran for all species (dried, semi-dried and fresh) during the farming year 2017-2018 was over one million tonnes. Iran shares 20 percent of the world date production and is the second largest date producer in the world.
Iran produce 200,000 tonnes of dried date, 600,000 tonnes of semi-dried or fresh-to-dry date and 200,000 tonnes of fresh date in its 180,000 hectares of palm groves mostly situated in the provinces of Kerman(21.1%), Bushehr(13.4%), Khuzestan(17.6%), Fars (12.3%), Hormozgan(21.6%), and Sistan-Beluchestan(12.2%). The most exquisite species of dates are produced in Iran. Some of the important types of Iranian date are Piarom, Sayer, Mazafati, Zahedi, Kabkab, Rotab, Rabbi, Kalooteh and Shahabi.
The state of Kerman as the main source of dates in Iran and also central location between the Fars, Hormozgan and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces allows us maximum access to all varieties of dates in Iran.
Grading of Iranian dates based on percentage of moisture:
Main Iranian Dates Varieties and Specifications