May 31, 2018

Iranian dates most preferred food item in Pakistan’s Ramadan

Iran is a leading producer of dates in the world by producing more than 1 million tons of the agricultural products each year.

Fruit sellers offer Iranian dates exclusively on their stalls and carts while they can be found on grocery stores and Ramadan markets. The tradition of breaking fast with date is connected to the religious practices in Ramadan as Muslims across the globe prefer to eat dates in iftari prior to anything else. Breaking fast by eating dates helps avoid overeating of food once the fast is over. Besides religious importance, dates are one of the most popular fruits with a list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormuzgan, Kerman, Fars, Bushehr, Khuzestan, Ilam, Kermanshah, Yazd, South Khorasan and Isfahan top the list of Iranian provinces that cultivate dates. Last year the value of exported Iranian dates stood at $ 300 million. People in Pakistan prefer to buy Iranian dates due to their rich taste and affordable price. Another reason for buying Iranian dates is their hygienic packing. The Iranian dates are high in quality and Pakistan being neighbor of Iran is the main market for Iranian dates. There are different varieties of Iranian dates available in the Pakistani markets like Rabai, Mazafati, Shareefa and others. Commercial attaché of Iran in Pakistan Morad Ne'mati Zargaran told IRNA that all Iranian dates are coming to Pakistan through legal means. “We have done our best to increase the quality of dates and their packing,” he said. The diplomat added: 'We are in touch with Pakistani businessmen to enhance the export of Iranian dates.' He said that 'we are hopeful to increase the amount of Iranian dates export' to Pakistan. Besides breaking fast with dates, people prepare many dishes and use dates during Ramadan feasts. Dates considered a blessed fruit are especially consumed during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is not only a custom to have dates during this holy month, but also a delightful and delicious fruit to eat. It is recommended to start iftar by eating 2-3 dates, as it provides the body with sugar, helping restore low blood sugar after fasting all day.