I planted a few seeds just for fun but not sure if they will be true to the parent.
Where can one buy these dates? They look heavenly.
@RandallW, if those little beetles you are seeing are dried fruit beetles aka sap beetles they are the worst pest I have. We don’t get them here till late June, but my brother in Fresno has been dealing with them for weeks now. These little suckers hone their way into the fruit spoiling it from the inside out. Once the beetles are in they spoil the fruit fast. Early season they go for the tips of fruit, later they go for the both tip and stem. It is best to quickly dispose of the fruit by placing in trash bag asap, the beetles will fly out into other fruit if you are not careful. Even if it looks like the damage is on the tips, it actually spoils the whole fruit, totally ruined, no saving. Trashing your fruit quickly and setting beetle traps are the recommended ways to get rid of them. Also, make sure to pick up all the fruit that drops from the trees, as the beetles will infest them and lay new eggs. We had them really bad 3 years ago, but we have used the above advice to help out and minimize them.
Looks really good @Ahmad. I’d like to sample more varieties of dates other than Mejdool (not sure if that’s a variety name). Where can I find the ones you mention above?
Thanks, I always dispose of dropped fruit asap. I also pick and dispose of any apples showing signs of Coddling Moth infestation. As for the beetles being the cause of the rot, you may be correct. I bagged a couple of those peaches not covered by bird nitting to prevent bird damage. So far, they seem to be okay, but so are a couple others I have not picked yet. I will keep you posted. Any input on beetle traps?
Like I say, I have not seen those beetles in any other context than this specific fruit damage. It seems fruit flies are ever present around fruit, but I have not associated Drosophila with fruit damage. They do emerge inside the house I believe from eggs laid on the fruit surface.
Yes, I noticed a prevalence of cracked pits last year and seems to be the case this year as well, but pits are still not hard. Do you think there is a connection? I have occasionally encountered cracked pits on other fruit that was otherwise okay. Drosophila seem to be ever present around fruit and it seems they emerge inside my house from eggs laid on the surface of fruit, but unlike the Medfly they don’t seem to damage fruit. You may be right that they spread the BR, but no other fruit had this damage last year.
@RandallW, The advice I got was on the UC IPM. I haven’t used the traps, think I saw that somewhere else. The traps looked hard to make and possibly not actually trap the beetles, those guys are really crafty.
@RandallW since you have a lot of experience with several varieties in a similar climate as mine, what are your favorites so far overall? Specifically, how would you rate Flordaking? also how about other early season peaches and nectarines?
CA cherries. Firm, crisp, and juicy. They are quite tart with a cane sugar after-taste. I tested three of them at 24.4, 25.2, and 26.8 Brix.
I got these from a Middle Eastern grocery store in Philly. Ramadan was just over (last Sat), and Ramadan is usually the month of the year when you can find the greatest variety of dates in Middle Eastern stores.
The key feature of this top quality Deglet Nour is the appearance you see in my photo: translucent, yellowish brown, soft flesh often times with honey/caramel oozed out . Also, they are usually kept in the fridge/freezer, becuase of their very high sugar content with some moisture makes them prone to bacterial growth and souring. The best quality ones are usually imported from Algeria and perhaps Tunisia. You will find a lot of dates labelled Deglet Nour, that look drier and don’t fit my description above, they are ok, but not special. Those inferior ones don’t need refrigeration.
Barhi dates are originally from Iraq, but its palms have been imported to USA I believe in the fifties or sixties and are commercially grown in Coachella valley in California. This is another top quality date that you have got to try. You may find it in farmers markets around CA.
My third favorite variety is Sukari dates, which are imported from Saudi Arabia.
Dates have four main stages of ripeness that can be eaten in: The first is called Khalal, and it’s dates are crunchy, kind of like an apple (more crunchy) and are sweet to very sweet. The second is Rutab, and the dates will be creamy soft, translucent, very high in sugar (probably ~50% or higher) and prone to spoiling if stored at room temperature. The third is Tamr, which is more dry than rutab, but still retain the high sugar content (can be stored at RT due to the low moisture content) and moderately soft and chewy. The fourth state where the Tamr becomes very dry and hard, some times brittle, this fourth stage is best eaten with milk, like cereal (after putting in milk overnight to soften and release its sugar into the milk). My favorite stage is the Rutab. See some Barhi photos below.
Yes, cracked pits increase the probability of Brown Rot. Apparently the inside of the pit can have fungal spores, which get transmitted to the flesh when the pit cracks. There is nothing that can be done at that point, since the fungus attacks from inside. I am not an expert, but I read that some varieties are inherently more prone to pit cracking than others, and this is usually enhanced with rain at certain (early?) stage of fruit development. Perhaps if you spray Daconil during bloom (not after petal fall), specially if it rains during bloom you will minimize the chances of brown rot affecting your fruit.
Regarding Drosophila, I have seen these flies feed at the sites of BR infection and then move to healthy spots/fruits carrying the fungus with them and spoiling what was before healthy.
I was of the impression that Barhi is palatable throughtout that range, like a non-astringent persimmon, but that many varieties of date are not palatable until that last stage.
Wow, never know dates can go through so many stages. All I know is fresh dates or dried dates😐.thanks for sharing the dates knowledge
Many varieties of dates are palatable in the crunchy stage, and can be very sweet, and a lot of people like them crunchy. I prefer soft, juicy fruits, as I said my favorite stage is the Rutab. Some have very light astringency, like a thousandth of what you can taste in an astringent persimmon. There are so many date varieties and I am by no means an expert in all of them. Personally, I have probably tried two dozen varieties.
Thank you Ahmad. I didn’t know that about dates. I’ll try to keep my eyes open. Years ago i bought a big quantity, for one person at least, of fresh Barhi dates. They were delicious, and I may agree with you about the best stage. Unfortunately I didn’t store them well enough and a large portion of them spoiled.
Walmart had forelle pears, so I am trying them out. They have lovely scent, are juicy, sweet, and very soft. They have the slightest astringency but not off putting. It actually makes it more of an interesting flavor rather than a plain sweetness. The skin is the slightest bit chewy.
Forelle is a good one. Those must be from the Southern Hemisphere.
i just ate a bag of those last week. good cherries!
Its one of those few weeks in a year when we can buy California-grown cherimoyas. This is one of the best fruits I’ve eaten in terms of flavor - banana and vanilla icecream. Its doubly surprising how agreeable the flavor is to me as I’ve tried its cousin custard apple (used interchangeably in few countries for different plants, but annona squamosa) many times growing up and I’ve always hated its milky taste. My wife loves them both. In a few weeks, these ones will be replaced by fruits from South America and they taste horrible to me.
I’d try more if this isn’t so expensive (~$10/lb). I read the California grown fruits never leave the state due to the local demand, I can see why.