The very famous Riyadh fruit and vegetable market which is also known as the date or fruit souk is located off exit 14 and is said to be the best market for dates ever! Anyone who is a date lover should definitely visit this place and for anyone who isn’t a fan of dates, I assure you, you will go crazy for dates once you visit the souk. A large fruit and vegetable market place is also located besides the dates called souk or rabwa. It is best to visit the souk at summer time because that’s when dates start too ripe and fresh dates are available then. The souk opens around 9 am so it is better to go as soon as it opens. Dates are packed full of health and nutrition, so much that their benefits are even mentioned in the Quran. The most expensive dates are called Ajwa dates which come from the Madinah and are said to have a lot of benefits such as cure of diabetes and tons of other diseases. They are soft and rich in fiber and help in detoxing the body.
Dates ripen in four stages which are named as Kimri i.e. unriped and green, Khlal i.e. full size, crunchy and yellow, Rutab i.e. ripe and soft and Tamr i.e. ripe, dark and sun dried. There are tons of varieties of dates available here so for a first timer, it will be super confusing and exciting to explore this market and since these dates are mostly sold by the kilo or a full box, the sellers are nice enough to give you a small portion of those dates upon request. By buying small portions, you get to taste a lot of different varieties of dates. All dates have different purposes i.e. some are used to make syrups whereas the others are used to cure diseases or just eaten for their amazing taste.
Rutab dates are the ones that are turned yellow from green and are a bit sour. Most people like those where as some prefer the plain sweet ones. Dates are not available in different colors only but also in difference of sizes, texture, sweetness and ripeness. Buyers are able to sample the huge variety of dates available and some sellers are nice enough to offer Arabic coffee with it, as well. A few tips on how to freeze your dates:
- Rinse and dry them before freezing.
- Use a plastic container that is airtight.
- All types of dates can be frozen!
- Soft and half soft kind of dates can be eaten without defrosting.
Directions: GPS co-ordinates: 24.695271, 46.779406 that is the North entrance to a long building which runs North/South. http://goo.gl/maps/96KxP
Source: Blue Abaya
Places to Visit in Riyadh
- Visit to the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
- Quad Biking in Thumamah, Riyadh
- 8 Things to do in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarters during summer
- 5 Things to do in Ad’Diriyah Village, Riyadh
- 10 Reasons Why Riyadians Absolutely Love Taiba Market