Much ado about butter-filled dates

KUALA LUMPUR: During Ramadan, entrepreneurs innovate various food creations to entice customers, including the beloved dates traditionally consumed during iftar.

Apart from being coated in chocolate, the fruit favoured by Prophet Muhammad SAW has also been reinvented in various styles, including being filled with a medley of nuts such as almonds, cashews, and chocolate pieces.

Lately, social media buzzes with testimonies of people eating butter-filled dates. Some combined them with almonds to entice those not fond of eating dates during iftar, particularly the younger generation and children.

"Coincidentally, a friend gave me some dates for Ramadan, so I just needed to buy butter and cashews, and they tasted delicious.

"I'm not used to eating dates, but after trying this recipe, I plan to make it a simple dish for sahur," marketing officer Adela Roslan, 33, told Bernama.

The allure of eating dates with butter seems to have caught the attention of influential and famous individuals such as former Federal Territories mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri and celebrity preacher Ustaz Don Daniyal Don Biyajid.

"Halal and creative ideas can encourage people to enjoy eating dates, you are helping to spread the sunnah of the Prophet SAW, so eat it!" said Ustaz Don in a video.

However, some have questioned the practice, saying eating dates with butter is detrimental to health, similar to the previous innovation of eating chocolate-coated dates.

Host and actor Awal Ashaari made a sarcastic jab at the trend through his social media post featuring dates served with butter.

"We'll see each other at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in a few years. During Aidilfitri, if the baju raya doesn't fit, and the sampin can't be tied...remember this moment," he said.

Whether we eat dates with butter or chocolate, it all goes back to our eating habits, which should not be excessive.

This was also reiterated by Zulkifli, a former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, posted on X, commenting that the style of eating favoured by the Prophet Muhammad SAW is suitable for replenishing energy after a day of fasting, but it should be done in moderation and using real butter.

Similarly, dietitian Jazlina Syahrul from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) also suggests using pure butter instead of margarine, which is based on vegetable oil fat, as it has a high fat content and risks increasing cholesterol.

"The benefits can be found in dates, which are high in fibre while pure butter can provide saturated fat that can supply energy, calcium, and several other vitamins. However, consuming high-fat and fried foods regularly will result in additional fat and pose risks.

"A single date contains about 20 calories, but if you add a teaspoon of butter, it becomes 60 to 70 calories, more than double. This amount is also close to the calorie content of a spoonful of rice," she said, encouraging the consumption of such dishes during sahur rather than iftar. -- Bernama

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories