The Date Souq in Riyadh – a must visit place

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 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 marketplace is also located beside the dates called souk or rabwa.

It is best to visit the souk at summertime because that’s when dates start to 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 Madina and are said to have a lot of benefits such as a cure for 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. unripe 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 whereas some prefer the plain sweet ones. Dates are not available in different colors only but also indifference of sizes, texture, sweetness, and ripeness.

Buyers can 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 coordinates: 24.695271, 46.779406 that is the North entrance to a long building which runs North/South. http://goo.gl/maps/96KxP

 

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.