How to select for best flavor:
Fresh dates are not a very common sight. You will most often find them dried. Fresh dates are a real treat, though, and they shouldn’t be passed up if you find them. Select plump, golden-brown fruit with a glossy appearance and a smooth skin. Pass up shriveled dates or dates with a coating of crusty sugar, as they have been sitting too long. Don’t freeze imported dates as they have probably already been frozen once.
Peak of the season:
The fresh crop comes in from September to May, with the largest selection in November. Dates store well under refrigeration and for that reason are available year-round. Dates from the Mid-East supplement U.S. domestic crop.
Dates are a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B complex. They are higher in calories and sugar
content than most fruit, but they also provide a good deal of dietary fiber.
Dates are probably the oldest fruit known to humans, having been cultivated in Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley as early as 3500 BC. Dates were found in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen and during Old Testament times. They were often the main source of wealth of Middle Eastern people.