Halawi dates (also known as Halawy) are a very sweet soft date variety of medium size with wonderful caramel-honey like flavor. The caramel pairs well with cheeses and savory fare. The halawi date palm variety originated in Mesopotamia and has been propagated by off-shoots for millenia. The name halawi actually means "sweet" in Arabic.
In some cultures, the Halawi date is eaten at the "khalal" stage when it has become yellow and is still crunchy like an apple. The flavor at this "khalal" stage is less sweet and very different. If allowed to ripen further, the Halawi date will next enter the "rutab" stage where it begins to turn a beautiful golden-amber color as it softens and becomes very sweet and delicious.