Dates

Dates are among the sweetest fruits in the world. They grow on large trees known as date palms and are native to the Middle East where they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. These chewy, sweet fruits are available in several varieties and are sold both fresh and dried. Dates can be eaten out of hand or used as a topping for sweet and savory dishes, and they can also be incorporated into salads and pureed into sauces.

The word "date" comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means "fingers," possibly named as such for the fruit's shape. Most dates are allowed to hang on the trees to "cure" and dry a bit before being harvested so they will last longer once picked. They will still be quite soft but have a bit more of a toothsome quality to them.

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