In ancient Mesopotamia, the date palm was prized for the material it provided for everyday products such as rope, lumber, mattresses, baskets, and of course fruit. The word may come from the Greek, meaning “finger”. Dates are oblong shape, typically 3 to 6 cm long, and have a papery skin, and a long, narrow pit. The colour can be deep brown, yellowish brown or reddish brown. The meat has an intensely sweet caramel-like flavour.
Keep at room temperature in a air-tight container up to 2 months.
Prep and cook:
Because dates have the lowest moisture content of any hole fruit, they may look dried after being stored. To use, soak in warm water several minutes, then pat dry. Whole dates can be eaten out of hand, or stuffed as an appetiser. Chopped, they add natural sweetness, to trail mix, salads, breads, side dishes, spreads and desserts. When dates are used in baked goods, the amount of sugar in many recipes can be reduced.
Goes with items and flavours such as:
Almonds, caramel, cumin, ginger, mint, vanilla.
Foods: Apples, apricots, bacon, coconut, couscous, cream cheese, lamb, nuts, oats, oranges, peanut butter, wild rice.
Highlights: Low fat and sodium
Excellent source of potassium and fibre
Good source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese.
Provides calcium magnesium and iron.