This seductress plays hard to get: Barhis are available for only a few short 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.
The Barhi harvest begins in August and usually sells out within a few weeks. Farmers Markets are the best place to get your fill, but limited shipping is available by special arrangement during the harvest. To discuss, please contact the family by phone or email. 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 cooling racks that allow air flow on all sides. A fan pointed at the dates can also help.
- 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.