Mysuru: After exotic summer fruits like Jamun, Litchi and Rose Apple, it is time to savour some raw dates that have flooded the market, straight from dry areas around India.
Bright yellow and red raw dates have arrived in Mysuru and are being sold at streets and at places where there are tourist rush. These are not the ripe and dark delicious dates that are grown in deserts around the world and sold at premium prices. The ones that have arrived in city are grown in arid areas of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
These exotic and eye-catching fruits are being sold opposite Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, popularly known as Mysuru Zoo, on Kalidasa Road, near B.M. Habitat Mall in Jayalakshmipuram, opposite Loyal World near V.V. Mohalla and also near Crawford Hall.
Surprisingly, the prices vary as per the area. If a kilogram of these dates cost Rs. 200 near the Zoo, it costs Rs. 400 per kg in Jayalakshmipuram and V.V. Mohalla. If you bargain a bit, then you can pocket a kilogram for Rs. 300 or Rs. 350.
“This is for the first time these dates have come to Mysuru. The yellow ones are called ‘Barhi’ or ‘Barhee’ and the red ones are known as ‘Zaghloul’ dates. These dates were earlier grown in countries like Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, and other countries in the Arab peninsula,” Mahadevaiah, who sells these fruits at V.V. Mohalla told Star of Mysore.
Barhi dates are the sweetest of all dates and resemble a butterscotch candy in taste. These are ingenious to the Arab peninsula. It is usually eaten when it is ripe (golden yellow). Of late, enterprising farmers from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have started growing these dates. “There is a lot of demand for these fruits especially from the health-conscious ones as they are nutrient-rich,” Mahadevaiah added.
When asked about the high prices, he attributes it to the demand and the dealer buying price. “There are only a couple of traders in Mysuru who get the fruits from other States. Some of them bring fruit boxes from Bengaluru and they add fruit cost, transportation cost and their profits before selling them,” he said.
The bright yellow and red colour of the fruit and sharp taste attract customers. While the outer skin is a bit bitter, the underlying fleshy part is sweet and crunchy.
“Gone are the days when some fruits are available only in places where it is cultivated. Thanks to 21st century transportation speed, we can have any rare variety of fruits grown across the globe at our doorsteps. We now have the opportunity to eat fresh dates which was available only in the Gulf,” said Radhika who was seen buying red dates on Kalidasa Road.
There are many good things available in these fruits. Nutrients, fibre and carbohydrates are present in good quantity. They are free from cholesterol, contain very low fat and are energy-boosters.
So next time you drive around the city, watch out for these fruits.