A type of sweet fruit harvested from the date palm. Most dates sold in the U.S. are dried—these are dark brown in color and have a large pit in the middle.
Dates are one of the most ancient known food plants, domesticated approximately 5,000 to 6,000 years ago in the Middle East.
In 1900, Walter Swingle, a U.S. Department of Agriculture botanist, studied dates in Algeria and brought them back to California.
Dates are pollinated by hand to ensure a successful crop.
“Forbidding Fruit: How America Got Turned On To The Date” by The Kitchen Sisters and Lisa Morehouse (2014)
New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan et al. (2009)