Located on the road from Muscat to Nizwa, and under the foothills of the Jabal Akhdar mountain, Birkat Al Mouz has long served an agricultural village.
“Birkat Al Mouz, located off the old Muscat-Nizwa road, translates to ‘Banana Pool’ as the area is home to many banana plantations,” according to the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman. “Bait Al Redidah Castle is set within the village and was recently renovated. Birkat Al Mouz is also the gateway to the Saiq Plateau on Jebel Al Akhdar.”
“There are several interesting things to see, including a fort, an active falaj (irrigation channel), some interesting old buildings that are in the process of being saved from ruin, and a thick plantation of date palms that invite a quiet stroll. The village also offers practical assistance to visitors heading up the mountain such as 4WD hire, supermarkets and camping supplies.”
The village also has acres upon acres of date plantations, which are regularly tended to and harvested in various stages of the fruit’s cycle. While some are allowed to fully ripen before being left in the sun to brown, turning into the fruit we all know, other plants are harvested in various stages of ripening, when their flavours, tastes and textures are different.
During the earlier stages of their ripening, the dates look like oblong berries, and are first plucked when they are yellow in colour and are juicy, white and fleshy inside. At this time, the dates have a crunchy texture, similar almost to an apple. The second phase of harvesting happens when the dates turn red on the outside, and feature and off-white, slightly softer interior.