The extra juicy delicacy from Iran: fresh Mazafati Dates
If you love dates, but aren’t a fan of dried fruit, you may find that it is quite difficult to find fresh varieties in most European countries. That’s where we come in: we provide lots of fresh, or slightly dried varieties of dates such as Medjool and Sukkari Extra Soft, as well as deliciously juicy, fresh dates from Iran called Mazafati, or sometimes Mozafati.
Mazafati: silky, matt-black coloured diamonds with a lush, sweet taste
Iranian Mazafati dates are dark brown to red-brown or almost black. Unlike their deeply black cousins the Ajwa and Anbara from Saudi Arabia, they are not shiny, but they have a silky matt sheen that makes this variety stand out from the crowd. Mazafati dates are special because of their rounded, sweet aroma and because they are juicier than most other varieties. They are one of the varieties that do not have to stay on the palm tree for a long time, soaking up the sun before they are suitable for eating in their dried form. You can eat them fresh, from the moment they are harvested. Thanks to an unusually high moisture content of up to 35%, this fruit has extra juicy flesh with a strong, well-balanced sweetness, due to the climate in the region where they originate.
Bam in southern Iran lies on the 29th latitude, which is the same as Florida, but unlike Florida, it can have frost at night for four to five months of the year. This climate makes the sweetness even purer, and it breaks up the fibres in the fruit. It means that a ripe Mazafati is just like a praline chocolate: a wafer-thin crust covers a sweet and creamy inner flesh that literally melts in your mouth.
Glorious fruits from the desert, thanks to miracle technologies from the ancient world
Mazafati Organic Dates come from the region around the town of Bam in Iran. The town is over 2000 years old, and the countryside around it consists of desert and steppe. In the oases on the edge of the Dasht-e-Lut, the "Desert of Light" in the south east of Iran, citrus trees and large numbers of date palms flourish, and they are heavily dependent on an underwater irrigation system that is thousands of years old, the so-called qanats. Ground water from higher regions is transported to the desert plains through canals several hundred metres below the ground. Around Bam, about 28000 hectares of date palms are watered in this way. Most of the trees are Mazafati palms, which can produce fruit for up to sixty years – truly a sustainable form of cultivation. The fruit is mainly grown in the south of the country and harvested between August and October, and they are very highly sought-after at this time.
Mazafati Dates for pure, unadulterated enjoyment
Because of their juicy, generous flesh, Mazafati dates are first and foremost perfect for eating just as they are. It would almost be a shame to use these fabulous fruits in cooking and baking. It is best to use dried varieties such as the Deglet Nour, for example, for all the different sweets and treats that are made with dates. The soft flesh of the fruit just melts in your mouth, and that’s why it is best enjoyed in its purest form. You might serve a cup of tea or coffee with one or two Mazafati dates. This luxurious date also makes a very fine topping on an ice-cream dish, for example alongside honeyed walnuts or with some hazelnut brittle. If you like something a little more sophisticated, you could combine these smoky, matt dates with smoked ham, Camembert, Brie, or strong goat’s cheese. However, and whenever you choose to eat this Iranian delicacy, the motto should always be: keep it as minimalistic as possible.