Dates are widely used to break fast during Ramzan. Imported dates have flooded the market this season. Not less than 50 varieties are available in the shops and super markets.
The price range starts at Rs.100 a kg. The ‘Ajwa’ is the premium variety among the dates available in the market and it costs close to Rs.2,200 kg. Imported from Mecca, the Ajwa dates are in great demand.
Shopkeepers are also selling dates imported from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Iran, and Iraq. The Kimiya, Kalima, Ausar, and Majdool are a few varieties to mention.
They say that it is the taste that makes them different from each other. The dates with a price of Rs.100 a kg are a bit hard. As the rate increases, the dates get softer.
Earlier, only two or three varieties used to be available. But, for the past couple of years, many new varieties have been added offering a wide range to customers.
Not many knew about the Ajwa. Of all the top varieties, Kalima is most sought-after in the city. Devotees who go to Haj bring Kalima type dates as gifts for their near and dear ones. It is priced at Rs.500 a kg.
Majdool costs Rs.1,500 a kg and are imported from Israel and South Africa. The Kimiya variety, which is available at Rs.135 per 800 grams, has to be refrigerated, they say.
Modern Super Market proprietor Fayaz Gani says that Ajwa has good nutritional value. Ajwa is a delightfully soft with fine texture.
It is soft and black in colour. It is available only in the Mumbai market. But, with increase in awareness and demand, these dates are being imported to the city, he says.
Imported from Mecca, Ajwa variety dates cost
Rs.2,200 a kg