Save yourself from bad dates by properly storing these fruits when fresh. These mature fruits have a short shelf life due to the high amount of sugar in them. Dried dates last longer in storage than fresh, but the taste of fresh dates cannot be matched by sweeter, darker dried dates.
Select fresh dates with tight, smooth skin and a plump size.
Put any dates not immediately eaten into a resealable plastic bag.
Store the dates in the bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Keep the dates in plastic bags in the freezer for five to six months.
Remove dates from the refrigerator or freezer to a counter one hour before preparation to come to room temperature and make cutting them easier.
Cut a slit down the length of the thawed date and pull the pit out with your fingers before eating, stuffing or chopping the dates.
You will find three forms of dates sold: soft, semi-dry and dry. Semi-dry dates contain 50 per cent sugar by weight and fresh (soft) dates have slightly less sugar, while hard (dried) dates contain the most sugar (up to 70 per cent of weight). Most commonly encountered varieties of dates include the highly prized Medjool dates and the popular Deglet Noor.