This seductress plays hard to get: Barhis are available for only a few weeks. One of the few varieties with a sufficiently low tannin content to be edible in the khalal stage of ripeness, Barhis that are kept at room temperature then soften into the cloud-like rutab stage.
Barhi are harvested in August and early September. Farmers Markets are the best place to get your fill, but limited shipping of khalal Barhi dates within the USA is available by special arrangement. To discuss, please contact the family by phone or email during the harvest. Due to transit time and customs delays, unfortunately Barhis cannot be shipped to Canada.
Many people enjoy the Barhi at its crunchy yellow khalal stage. Others prefer to allow it to ripen fully or to a "half-and-half" state. Ripening is most successful with full ventilation – for example, on wire racks that allow air flow on all sides. A fan pointed at the dates also helps. Ripe Barhis are not available for shipping because they are so soft.
- With a crunchy firmness, a light astringency, and a flavor described by David Karp as "coconut, sugarcane, and cinnamon," khalal Barhis are a rare delicacy. At room temperature, Barhis soften into heavenly clouds. A fully softened Barhi should then be immediately savored or refrigerated.
- The texture of a khalal stage Barhi is comparable to a firm apple with the slight drying effect of tannins. At rutab, the date softens into a fluffy, soft, moist pouf of flavor.
- Barhis are an extraordinary treat. If you are in Southern California in the late summer or early fall, don't miss the opportunity to give these a try, or contact the Bautista Family if you have a US shipping address and want to discuss a special order.