Fruit native to the Middle East, it grows on a palm of the Arecaceae family . The name "date" derives from the Greek daktilos , which means finger, which recalls the oblong shape of the fruit. These are berries with a sugary pulp and there are many varieties, the most cultivated are: Medjool, Deglet noor, Ameri, Deri, Halawi.

  • Medjools or Medjoul, originally from Morocco, are larger, darker dates and have a caramel-like flavor.
  • Deglet noor dates, originating in Algeria, look different from Medjoul, they are smaller and clearer and taste similar to cashews and brown sugar.
  • Ameri dates, originally from Iraq, and characterized by a red-brown color.
  • Deri dates are very tender and have a taste reminiscent of chocolate.
  • Halawi dates, originally from Israel, with an amber color also have a caramel-like flavor.

The most used in the kitchen and in particular for the production of sweets are the Medjoul and the Ameri which contain the greatest amount of sugars and fibers.


Known since ancient times, it is said that the Egyptians paid their workers with fruit including dates and also obtained alcoholic beverages through their fermentation.

The first to name them was Melanìppides, a Greek poet, who made known the importation of these fruits both in Greece and in the Roman Empire. Pliny, naturalist, philosopher and Roman governor describes up to 50 varieties, among which the most characteristic were those of Jericho and the Thebaid.


In general, dates are a rich source of nutrients. They offer a varied amount of fiber, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, including iron (Fe), potassium (K), B vitamins, copper (Cu) and magnesium (Mg).

Rich in antioxidants , mainly carotenoids and phenolic compounds.

In addition to the antioxidant properties, they have anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective and neuroprotective properties.

They contain polyphenols, anthocyanins, tannins, sterols, flavonoids, phytoestrogens and cinnamic acid derivatives. The β-glucans, major components of the soluble fraction of dietary fiber, have a strong immunomodulating, antidiabetic action and encourage the beneficial growth of the intestinal microflora. They are an excellent aid for intestinal well-being and to keep gastric disorders at bay.

1 Medjoul date contains:


60 Kcal


18 grams


1.6 grams


0.4 grams


16 grams

Calcium (Ca)

10 mg

Iron (Fe)

1 mg

Potassium (K)

164 mg

Copper (Cu)

0.4 mg

Vitamin B6

0.2 mg

Magnesium (Mg)

10 mg


From dates it is possible to obtain a syrup or date "honey" which can replace sugar and butter in sweet preparations.

From the drying of the fruit, a flour is also obtained, which mixed with barley flour is used to prepare the famous date bread, a specialty of Arab countries.

In India and Sri Lanka, date wine is usually consumed: arrak , a liqueur wine similar to brandy.

The date together with dried figs, jujube and dried grapes is part of the composition of the herbal tea of ​​the four fruits. These fruits are called pectoral fruits as their effectiveness is recognized in case of colds, bronchitis and respiratory disorders.