What Can I Do With Fresh Dates?

Good Questions

Q: I am an adventuresome eater, willing to try anything once. I see fresh dates, sold on sticks, and have no clue what to do with them, how to eat them — I do have to say I tried sneaking one and biting into it and it was horrid — same pruning effect as eating an unripe persimmon — which if you have never had the misfortune — is akin to eating chalk.

Do you know what to do with fresh dates? They look so beautiful on their stalks.

Sent by Heidi

Editor: Heidi, it sounds like the date you tried was not yet ripe. Green dates are indeed very astringent, as Emily learned in this market report on fresh dates. After they ripen a little more they get sweet and crunchy like an apple.

If you can get ahold of some properly sweet fresh dates, try this salad:

Recipe: Asian Pear, Fresh Date, and Pomegranate Salad

Readers, any more tips on fresh dates? Recipes?


Related: Farmers' Market Report: Fresh Dates

(Image: Emily Ho)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.