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How to Select Dates

Fresh dates are plump and evenly colored; they have a glossy look to their skin.  They may be wrinkled but should not feel hard.  Some dried dates may contain a fine layer of sugar dusting which can easily be mistaken for mold.  This sugar dusting on or just under the skin of the dried fruit does not indicate a problem, however, if the sugar has crystallized this means the date is not ideal to eat, the skin will be dry and leathery.

How to Store Dates

Fresh dates can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Dried dates can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to six months, or in the refrigerator for up to a year.

How to Freeze Dates

Pitted dates can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag.

How to Ripen Dates

There are different varieties of dates and different ripening stages.  The riper the date the sweeter it is.  For the best quality dates, the ripening should be done on the tree however, there are a number of different ripening techniques that can be used.  Dates can be placed in jars in the sun or the dates can be boiled and then placed in the sun to dry.  Dates at the Khalal stage can be freeze ripened.  Place clean dates in a solution of equal parts lemon juice and water and soak for 10 minutes.  Drain the solution from the dates and place them in a freezer bag and freeze for 24 hours to ripen to the rutab stage.

Date Recipes

Bacon Wrapped Dates
Candied Dates with Cardamom
Chocolate Almond Dates
Coco Date Shakes
Cranberry Date Bars
Curried Cheddar Date Bites
Date Squares
Orange Date Pinwheel Cookies
Simple Date Spread
Stuffed Dates with Pears

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