these are the tastiest types of dates + recipes

Apart from the super juicy fresh medjool dates from Morocco, we hardly know the types of dates by name here. In the Middle East it is unthinkable to buy a date without asking about the variety.
There are over 200 varieties of dates, each with their own taste, texture and smell.

Fancy a quick pie with fresh fruit? Make an apricot frangipane pie

Most dates you buy in the Netherlands are dried. They are kept on the tree until the sun has evaporated most of the moisture. You can keep them tightly closed for months.

Fresh dates are harvested earlier and are nice and juicy. It’s best to keep them in the fridge. Many types of dates are for sale at the Middle Eastern supermarket and online.

The best available and the tastiest types of dates:


Out Medina, Saudi Arabia
Appearance somewhat smaller, dark brown & wrinkled
Taste soft, fruity and slightly chewy in texture


Out Saudi Arabia
Appearance small, rather smooth and light brown
Taste very sweet and aromatic


Out Saudi Arabia
Appearance large, dark brown, elongated
Taste firm, medium sweet, slightly licorice taste


Out Egypt
Appearance medium size, dark brown, slightly wrinkled
Taste chewy, medium sweet, with deep caramel flavour


Out Saudi Arabia
Appearance medium size, dark brown, slightly wrinkled
Taste soft, quite sweet with a hint of coffee


Out to Morocco
Appearance slightly smaller, amber, slightly wrinkled
Taste sweet and caramelly

Stuffed dates

For a super simple and nourishing snack, fill dates with a spoonful of nut butter, some cocoa nibs and a pinch of cinnamon. Just as delicious: stuffed dates with pistachios and a little bit of cardamom. Or go for the classic combination of walnut and date, possibly with a little cream cheese to make it smoother.

Try the different date varieties in these recipes

date cake with caramel with salted butter

Whoever does not have a sweet tooth is not worthy of Shoukran. All desserts and pastries from chef Abdel Alaoui are super sweet, but also very tasty with the thousand and one scents and flavors of Morocco: honey, rose water, cinnamon, almonds and dates. Taste it again in this irresistible date cake.

to recipe

date cake with salted butter caramel ©David Japy
date pudding with banana praline

What’s better than a dessert with sweet sauce on top? A warm dessert where you bake the sauce in the oven! Taste it for yourself, with this sticky date pie with sweet sauce and crunchy banana topping. Fancy more sweetness with banana? You will also love our inverted banana caramel cake.

to recipe

date pudding with banana praline
chutney with dried lime and date (noomichutney) from Sara

Sara: ‘You want this chutney in your fridge as standard, it is fruity, spicy, spicy and also gives you an earthy, sour hug when you enter. A femme fatale to love.’ Serve noomichutney with kubbeh and anything street food related.This sultry dip is from Sara Shawkat’s cookbook NOOMI (named after the black, dried limes you need for this recipe)

to recipe

noomi chutney sara shawkat

Fresh varieties of dates

Dried we all know them. Fresh they are less known. Soft, fragile, golden brown, juicy, with a crunchy bite and intensely sweet (think honey, cane sugar syrup). That is the best way to describe fresh dates. But even better is to taste them yourself.

In the autumn you will find them mainly in foreign shops. They mainly come from North Africa (Tunisia) and California, where the fruits hang in large clusters in the date palm.

When is a date ripe?

The stone fruits – after all, they have a stone – must start to become juicy but still be intact and firm. Then they are ripe. You can recognize unripe dates by their lighter, golden brown color.

Even then you can buy them because they ripen well at room temperature. You can also taste them, although they are firmer, less juicy and do not yet have that honey-sweet taste that makes them so tasty. You can buy fresh dates in sprigs. Semi-dried dates are also usually still on a twig and already have more of the chewy bite that we know from dried dates. By the way, dates already dry on the tree, then they become more intense in taste, sweeter. They become firmer and turn brown.

Are dates healthy?

They are also called ‘bread of the desert’ because they keep for a long time and are very nutritious; apart from many natural sugars, they also contain a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

A date contains a lot of sugar. Dried dates contain more sugar than fresh dates. The Nutrition Center therefore advises to eat a maximum of 20 grams of dried fruit per day. That comes down to about 3 pieces for dates.

Do you have the April issue of delicious. already at home?

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