Plump and juicy dates have been eaten for centuries in the Middle East. Grown on palm trees, dates generally come in fresh or dried varieties. Fresh dates are widely available in the United States, due to major date production in California. With proper storage, dates have a relatively long shelf-life, depending on the variety and storage method.
Store fresh dates in an airtight container in a dark, cool area, such as a pantry, for up to four weeks. Choose this option only for semi-soft dates. Softer varieties, like Medjool dates, should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, or they dry out or ferment.
Place fresh dates in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for around six months to a year. Semi-soft fresh dates, such as the Deglet Noor variety, generally have a longer storage life than softer varieties.
Store fresh dates in an airtight container in the freezer. Sealed tightly, fresh dates can last up to five years when frozen.
Items you will need
- Fresh dates
- Airtight plastic container
- Visit a farmer's market or a gourmet supermarket to select the freshest dates. Sample the soft, semi-soft and dry varieties to see which type you prefer the most.
- Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images