Remember Rotab for Ramadhan

For Muslims, dates are one of the quintessential food consumed during Ramadhan.

Madina Dates Rotab Rothana is a product from the holy city, Madinah Al- Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia.

Dates go through four stages of development prior to it being fully ripened. First, the chimri stage – green, hard, and bitter with 80 per cent moisture and 50 per cent sugar.

Next is the Khalal stage – still hard, the colour changes to yellow, orange or red. The sugar level increases, most of it sucrose.

Then the Rutob stage – half-ripe; soft, light brown, the distinctive yellowish skin of this acorn-shaped date is very creased, and because of the crystallised sugars they contain can be slightly crunchy.

Finally, the Tamar stage – ripe and soft dates, brown to black brown.

Eating Rotab during the breaking of fast is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Anas ibn Malik narrated: “The Messenger  (pbuh) of Allah would break the fast with fresh dates (Rotab) before performing Salat. If there were no fresh dates then (he would break the  fast) with dried dates, and if there were no dried dates then he would  take a few sips of water.”

Dry dates have less moisture and keep for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, fresh dates have a lesser shelf life of up to eight to 10 months. Frozen dates can keep for up to two years.