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Medjool dates are the fruit of the Medjool cultivar of date palm trees, scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera. This tree has been cultivated for thousands of years for its sweet fruit, the date, which contains a single stone, and ranges in color from red to yellow when ripe, depending on the cultivar. Medjool dates are often called the king of dates, due to their global availability, and are also the “soft” variety of dates, compared to semi-dry or dry varieties. Dates are usually elongated in shape, up to 7 cm long and 3 cm wide, and often have a wrinkled or dehydrated appearance. Most varieties of dates available in stores are dried, but fresh dates are available in some import stores and markets in the regions where dates grow.
Although these trees are likely native to the region of Iraq and ancient Persia, they are now widely grown around the world, from Spain and North Africa to Mexico and the United States. A majority of dates, however, are still produced in the Middle East and exported. They are not onlydense fruits but also have a long shelf life in their dried form. Medjool dates are rich dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, B family vitamins, vitamin A, magnesium, and calcium.