Date

Date

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Dates grow in huge, hanging bunches, often weighing up to 1.5 kg, on the date palm, and are eaten either fresh or dried. The best dried dates are soft and juicy, packed whole in small boxes. These can be eaten as they are or used in recipes for stuffed dates. The hard, dry variety comes in blocks and is good for cooking.

Fresh dates can be bought from many greengrocers and should be purchased when their skins are a smooth, shiny brown and the fruit is plump and not sticky.

Ways to use dates:

Whole dried dates: Remove the stones and stuff with any of the following: marzipan; whole or ground nuts; flavoured fondant; cream cheese, sweetened with vanilla sugar; glacé fruits such as cherries or pineapple; or very thick Crème Pâtissière flavoured with Kirsch and sprinkled with sugar. Serve in frilly paper sweet cases as petits fours.

Dried dates sold in blocks: Use, finely chopped, in puddings, cakes, breads, scones or sandwiches.

Fresh dates: Serve with a bowl of thick, creamy plain yoghurt; ricotta cheese, flavoured with grated lemon or orange zest; in a fruit salad; or simply enjoy them on their own. They also make a good addition to a cheese board.

Ingredients

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