We will start to take online orders around August 15.
When most people think about dates, they tend to think of the more popular varieties such as the Medjul (Medjool), or Deglet Noor. The first date that comes to mind for me however is the Barhi. The Barhi is a very soft date, that is oval in shape, and extremely sweet.This little known date is starting to make a name for itself, each year more Barhi dates are sold than the year before. Its success can be attributed to a unique trait that most dates don't have, the Barhi is edible in three different stages of development, where most dates are only edible in one.
The Half n Half is the best of both worlds. It is both crunchy and even more sweet than the yellow stage. The Half n Half is both extremely popular, and hard to find (these are almost never found in stores). The Half n Half is when the date is turning from the yellow stage into the ripe stage. This process only takes a matter of days on the tree and generally there are only a hand full of Half n Half on each bunch at a given time. If I had to choose only one stage of Barhi to eat this is the stage I would choose.
The fully ripe Barhi is the softest and sweetest date you will find. They are so soft that we are able to take fresh Barhi and smash them between slices of bread to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
The Barhi is originally from Basra, Iraq, and was brought over to the United States in the early 1900's. The origin of the name Barhi is a bit of a mystery, some claim that Barhi is a reference to the hot desert wind, which is common it Basra. Others however claim Barhi was named after the first person who propagated the variety. This is a mystery that will most likely go down as being lost to history.
At its introduction to the United States the Barhi was not a popular commercial date. The Barhi in its ripe stage (tamar) is extremely soft, and will smash unless proper precaution is taken. This trait made the Barhi impossible to pack and ship in any large quantity, and regulated the tree to an oddity that was kept on the farm for personal use.
The Barhi tree itself tends to be wider that you average date tree, with both the trunk and the fronds being larger, you need to plant the trees at an interval of 30 compared to the usual 28. Although the tree tends to be wider than other varieties, it does not grow as tall as either the Medjul or Deglet.
The date itself tends to be rounder that other varieties, most dates like the Deglet tend to be more of an oblong shape. The Barhi is a soft variety of date when it is in the tamar stage. . Although the Barhi is extremely sweet, research suggest that the Barhi consist of invert sugar, which makes them safe to eat for diabetics unlike the Deglet which consist of mostly cane sugar.