A type of stoned fruit that is available fresh or dried and is grown widely in desert areas. Dates are a staple food in the Middle East. They are sweet and chewy. They come in a cylindrical shape and have a wrinkled texture.
Fresh dates can be wrinkled, but they shouldn't feel hard. Look for fresh dates that are plump looking and have a slightly glossy look to their skin. Avoid dates that have crystallized sugar on their skins (a little whiteness is okay, but not actual crystals), since that means they are not quite as fresh as you might like.
Since they’re mostly sugar, they last a very long time. But store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator if you plan to use them for 45 days or more.