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Just think of the Medjool as ‘the perfect date’

A date
The Medjool date.
(Christian Reynoso)

Medjools are beautifully plump, bigger than most dates, and soft and sweet. What’s more, they travel well and keep for a long time. Is it any wonder they are sometimes called “the perfect date” or “the king” of California dates?

Here are a few other things you should know about Medjools:

• They were introduced to California in 1927 when Dr. Walter T. Swingle of the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought young offshoots of date palms here from Morocco (where a rare disease nearly wiped them out). They subsequently thrived in Southern California’s dry, hot desert.

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• Their flavor can range anywhere from wildflower honey to caramel to brown sugar to cinnamon.

• Medjools have a chewy, sticky texture that firms up as they age. But even after a year in storage, the dates will remain relatively soft.

• That softness (and delicacy) comes with a price. Medjools usually are picked by hand — one at a time — rather than in large clusters.

• Their taste is most pronounced at room temperature.

• Medjools are in season from September through November.

• One date can grow up to 3 inches long, making them great for snacking — and pitting and stuffing.

• One large Medjool date is about 37 calories.


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