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Date Sap or Khejur Ras, (Bengali: খেজুর রস, romanized: Khejur Rosh) is sweet sap extracted from the Date Palm trees of Bangladesh in winter. This is symbolic and synonymous of Bangladeshi winters. This Date sap is famous food over the people of the rural as well as the urban of Bangladesh. It contains high natural sugars and others natural form. Numbers of others popular foods are also made from or using this Date sap like date Jaggery or Palm sugar, pitha etc.
Tree age for date sap
A date palm tree starts to produce sap from 5 years. Amount of date sap, sugar, quality etc. depend on the soil, climate and type of date palm. Mainly the male date palm tree gives more date sap than the female tree. The sap of the male is also sweeter than the female.
Extraction of date sap
Date palm trees grow abundantly around villages in Bangladesh. Usually the date sap emits from the soft trunk of the top-most part of the date tree in winter. The bark and some pith of trunk are shaved everyday, very delicately, to make the juice or sap flow. Much like extracting rubber, an earthen container is hung at the shaved part of the tree to hold the juice, which collects overnight. In early morning of the next day, villagers collect the extract filled container. the juice which flows during the day is not of very good quality and is prone to spoilage while in the earthen container. Collecting date juice is almost exclusively a rural practice.
Protection from bats
Since it is very sweet, the Nipah virus carrier bats love to drink date sap. So Nipah virus can spread through this raw date sap. A net is used on clay containers and soft trunk part of tree to prevent bats from contaminating the sap.
Popular foods from date juice
The raw date palm juice is very alluring thing and it is also first food from it but due to health and safety reasons (from Nipah virus) need to need a certain amount of precaution. Some others famous foods from it are