April 15, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated April 15, 2021
The cradle of the queen of dates
Deglet noor dates or queen of dates have been the pride of the Tunisian south for decades. Let’s find out more about the cradle of this sweet fruit and learn a few recipes to try.
Deglet noor dates origin
There have been several disagreements concerning the origin of these dates. However, books and records such as Le palmier-dattier by Pierre Munier, Algeria: a century of French colonization by Félix Falck, and Un voyage au pays des dattes by Jean-Henri Fabre along with the Bulletin of the Botanical Society of France reveals that deglet noor dates originales in Algeria.
Evidence has been traced to the municipality of Tolga in the province of Biskra. Tolga now contains about 500.000 date palm trees. It is well known for excellent quality dates being exported to the rest of the world.
Geographical proximity to neighboring Tunisia paved the way for this date variety to be transported to Tozeur, a province in the southern part of Tunisia. The story goes that a farmer named Sidi Touati was responsible for the plantation of this species in the Tunisian desert.
Today, both Tunisia and Algeria are among the top producers of these dates. Though it spread to other regions, these two countries dominate the field.
North Africa: suitable climate
Deglet noor date palm trees have been thriving on the shores of the Mediterranean. North Africa offers favorable climatic conditions and perfect soil for the growth of palm trees. These trees are hardy to arid and semi-arid lands. Tunisian, Algerian lands are mainly arid, especially in the southern and mountains’ areas.
These regions generally enjoy long summer days and high-temperature degrees; the sole need for dates to ripen. Low to medium rainy periods do not cause the deterioration of dates.
These conditions have been exploited and along with the accumulating experience and craftsmanship to produce super sweet and high-quality dates. The deserts are looming with evergreen oases. The lofty palm trees would bow and salute all visitors, while the breeze refreshes both body and soul. A visit to these places is a walk to remember.
Southern Tunisia: booming oases
Surrounded by sand dunes and salt lakes, the towns of Kbeli, Tozeur, Nefta, and Douz live off the cultivation of date palm trees. The cultivation of palm trees in these areas has been integrated into the DNA of the inhabitant. It has turned into a culture of its own. Their production, though mostly traditional, it is conquering the whole world.
This wealth of dates in the southern parts of Tunisia is not just the source of pride for these regions and their inhabitants; the field offers various tourism opportunities and much more.
The oases of Chebika, Nefta, and Douz are heavens on earth. They offer fascinating views and a haven to find peace and tranquility. The desert is now full of trodden routes thanks to the existence of these groves.
A few recipes to try:
Dates are an excellent food on their own, especially deglet nour dates. These are so sweet and very soft textured that you can’t have enough of them. However, you can enjoy these fruits in various recipes as well. Here are some of my favorites:
Deglet noor smoothie:
- 200 grams deglet noor dates
- 1/1 water
- 1 teaspoon pectin
- 4 tablespoons of whipped cream Chantilly
- Nuts (optional)
Wash the dates and take off their kernels. Chop them into small slices and put them in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Garnish with nuts and serve it cold.
- 200 grams deglet nour dates
- 1/1 milk
- 3 bananas
- 1 teaspoon pectin
As usual, wash the dates and take off their kernels. Slice them and put them into the blender. Slice the bananas and add them. Pour the milk and add the pectin. Mix for two to three minutes. Garnish with whatever you like and serve it cold.
- 500 grams of dates
- 3 cups of sugar
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of cardamom
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Almonds (optional)
Put the dates in hot water for five minutes and then peel their skin off. In a pan, slice the dates, and pour in the water. Leave them to cook for half an hour. Add the sugar, almonds, and lemon juice, and cardamom. Leave it to cook until it is in perfect shape. Leave it to cool and then put it in glass jars. the queen of dates is truly a treasure to cherish.