Mazafati dates are a large family, all on the genus Labiatae from Malaysia. The most common species is Labiatae Mazafati, with more than eight subspecies represented. All Mazafati dates are characterized by dark purple to blackish bands on the flesh, with red markings on the bark. The tree bears white flowers on late summer and early fall. Fall fruit includes round dark purple berries, the sap is sweet and has a distinct flavor.
Mazafati dates are produced in different parts of Africa, but the most well known subspecies are from southern Tanzania and southwestern Kenya. Mazafati dates are a type of dry roasted fruit, which means that they do not have an enzyme within the fruit to convert the sugar into alcohol. This makes them slightly less fattening than other varieties of dates, such as those that contain a sugar-crazed pulp. It has taken Mazafati trees a long time to become established on the commercial market, with their origin dating back to the 18th century. As such, Mazafati dates are hard to find in the international markets and tend to be expensive, being marketed by some of the larger African food retailers.
The best place to find Mazafati dates is to buy them from an authentic tribe in Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro. These tribal groups preserve the quality of their seed and tree from centuries of use, ensuring that these trees produce a rich source of nuts rich in calcium, manganese and phosphorus. Although you can find Mazafati seeds in your local supermarket, it is better to buy directly from the local tribes. As they grow quickly and become vulnerable to diseases, their survival is highly dependent on them. You may also be able to source dried Mazafati dates, although these do not contain the same amount of calcium and phosphorus as the freshly picked seeds.
When it comes to taste, there is little to beat the fresh sultry fruit in your local supermarket. However, many of these have little or no binder within the fruit, meaning that the actual flavor of the fruit is lost when adding sugar and cream to the mix. If you would like your Mazafati dates to retain a bit of their original flavor, then it is best to soak them overnight in water and add just a small amount of sugar to the liquid, to bring out their flavor. Alternatively, you could leave the seeds in the sun for a few days and dry them out before cooking.
In order to preserve the richness in taste of Mazafati dates, the best way to do this is to keep them in a covered jar. This will not only help the seeds from becoming moldy but also give it some added protection from the air. A great place to store these dates is in your freezer. This will allow you to keep your dates at their optimum quality and give you years of enjoyment from their presence. The good news is that most stores will stock crystal company products, so you should have no difficulty in finding a quality jar.
When purchasing Mazafati Dates, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you purchase ones that maintain their rich taste and rich fiber content. First, it is important to note that all stores will cut the Mazafati dates in half, or even remove the seed pod. You must always purchase a pure heart-shaped seed, as this allows you to reap the maximum fiber from each seed. Next, consider your intended use. Although the seeds are quite large, it is generally recommended that you save the seeds and use them for other recipes instead of eating them up. For example, by preserving them in a glass jar with an airtight lid you can have your own delicious pies, cookies, cakes, or muffins for up to several months.