History of Dates in The World:
In the previous article we talked about the root and history of Date fruits in Iran, now we are trying to give you an overview of the intriguing world history of this fruit in a global scale and to show you that in what countries date fruits are being cultivated.
Countries of the world that are suitable for cultivating Palm Trees
Date Fruits, or better to say Palm Trees, are one of the oldest plants that ever existed on planet and have been used from million years ago. As we mentioned in the previous article, the history of Dates goes back almost 7000 years ago. However, Palm Trees have been on earth much longer (dating back to the Triassic and Jurassic era). In these eras dinosaurs, primitive birds and small mammals were living on earth.
Date Fruits have had an important impact on the humankinds day to day lives up to this day.
Main origin of Palm Trees is still disputed. Many historians believe that the origin of these trees comes from Asia and the coast of the Persian Gulf. However, other historians say that the Palm Tree originates from north of Africa and India. Overall, most of the historical references claim that the birth place of Palm Trees and Date Fruits is Mesopotamia.
Name of the Palm Tree and Date Fruits have mentioned in many historical and religious books and many different nations throughout history have been using Dates, like the Babylonians with the name of Raakshema and Sumerians with the name of Dalte (as mentioned in their historical and national books). It’s interesting to know that in the holy book of Quran the Palm Tree has been mentioned more than 20 times which indicates the importance of this fruit for the Islamic religion. We should say that, the name of Date Fruits has been mentioned for 34 times in the Torah, and 8 times in Bible. This shows us the importance of Palm Trees and Dates in the middle east.
Date Fruits have been very important for the middle eastern region, impacting countries like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and north of Africa. This fruit has been introduced to many regions of the world like, China, India, south of Africa and America and various parts of the United States and has been cultivated in many countries. The historical pedigree of Dates is undisputed. However, with the rise of Islam in the middle east, cultivating Palm Trees expanded very rapidly and this was the way that Dates, made their ways to countries like China and regions of southern Europe (The first county to cultivate Dates in the European region was Italy). It’s important to mention that the Spanish population had a very big impact in expanding the cultivation and consumption of Date Fruits. They took the Palm Trees to northern America and cultivated them, and this was the first time that Dates and Palm Trees were mass produced in a non-middle eastern region. That said, the Chinese were one of the first nations to use Dates before this, but they were mainly consumers, not cultivators. Eventually the Palm Trees became so popular that were being cultivated for its beauty in many places that didn’t even have the correct/needed cultivating properties.
In places like Iran and middle east, with a lot of deserts, it was impossible to create a living environment. And many importing convoys were created to transfer the Dates to other countries. This made the Palm Tree the symbol of fertility.
According to this article and the pervious one, we now know that Date Fruits were firstly cultivated in central middle east and was distributed internationally and even made their way to the United States. At the end of the 18’s century, cultivating Dates in the US was populated and the at start of the 19’s century it had an amazing prosperity that nowadays, its being used and cultivated in southern California and Arizona and it’s satisfying many of their population’s needs.
The middle eastern countries might have been the main cultivators of Palm Trees and producers of Date Fruits and is the biggest exporter of Dates in the world. However, Palm Trees are being cultivated all around the world in more than 20 countries that are mentioned in the table below.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DATE PALMS