Barhi dates are rare for being tasty in both their yellow, crunchy state (khalal in Arabic) and their soft, brown state. At this rutab stage of ripeness, their skins are thin and crackling, giving way to a smooth, creamy interior that tastes like brown sugar and caramel. Looking for a definition of "nature's candy"? This is it.
The bad news is that Barhi dates have a brief season and are too delicate to be commercially shipped, so the best place to find them is at farmers markets, although there are mailorder sources. The good news is that once you get your hands on a basket, they can be kept in the refrigerator for several months. At the rate I'm eating them, my plan is to buy up the date man's stock this weekend, to ensure a steady supply for at least a couple more weeks.
Find it: Barhi dates, $7/lb at Flying Disc Ranch
What is your favorite date variety?
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)