Dates have a variety of uses. For centuries, people from all walks of life have considered them as culinary delicacies, using them in their cuisines. Although all dates are delicious, they are not all the same. There are plenty of different species to choose from, but a few of the most popular are the Deglet Noor and the Medjool. In this article, we will explore the many uses of the Deglet Noor and the many benefits they offer over their well-known counterpart, the Medjool.
Deglet Noor – Dates of Light
The Deglet Noor date is from the date palm variety. The Deglet Noor date originated in Algeria and the surrounding North African regions. From there, it crossed the Pacific Ocean, and its influence spread all the way to California.
Today, you can find Deglet Noor dates grown throughout Tunisia, Algeria, the United States, and Israel.
In Arabic, Deglet Noor means “Dates of Light.” They are also commonly referred to as “The Queen of All Dates.” These references give you just a sneak peek at how important and loved this variety of dates is by millions of people around the globe.
Medjool Dates – The Fruit of Kings
Similar to Deglet Noor dates, Medjool dates grow from the date palm tree. However, these dates are set apart by their size, color, and flavor. Although the Deglet Noor date is the more popular of the two around the world, it is more common to see Medjool dates being enjoyed within the United States. They were traditionally eaten by royalty, hence the name “fruit of kings.”
What is The Difference Between Deglet Noor and Medjool Dates?
The categories used to describe dates are dry, semi-dry, and soft. They range from an almost straw-like yellow color to a deep amber color with a slight translucency to them. You can find these beauties in full glory from late summer to fall in many rural areas of California. Currently, it is believed that at least 90% or more of the date crops grown California are of the Deglet Noor variety.
Here are a few of the main differences between Medjool and Deglet Noor dates:
Medjool dates are known for their bright, sweet flavor. They are soft, sticky, and chewy, making for a sweet afternoon snack.
Deglet Noor dates, on the other hand, feature a more robust, caramel-like flavor. When it comes to comparing the flavors of these two date varieties, the Deglet Noor is the more sophisticated option. It also pairs brilliantly with many baked goods.
Color and Texture
Another tell-tale difference between Deglet Noor and Medjool dates is their color and textural differences. For example, the Deglet Noor date features a rich amber color that is almost translucent if you look at it close enough. They are also a lot firmer than their Medjool counterpart.
Medjool dates have a deep brown or black color that is opaque. They are also noticeably softer and stickier than the Deglet Noor. Another distinct characteristic of Medjool dates is that they are prone to skin separations as a result of sugar crystallization. This is not an issue for Deglet Noor.
Size and Weight
One of the biggest differences between Medjool and Deglet Noor dates is their noticeable size discrepancies. The Medjool is exceptionally large when compared to the Deglet Noor. In fact, Medjool dates are so large that they tend to fall off the branch before they are harvested.
Here’s an example to put this size difference into perspective. In one kilo of Deglet Noor dates, you will find anywhere from 120 to 180 dates. However, one kilo of Medjool dates amounts to only 40 or 50 dates.
Why Do We Love the Deglet Noor?
There’s no question that Deglet Noor dates are loved by millions of people around the world. Because of its lower moisture content, it’s the preferred variety of dates to use in cooking and baking! Unlike Medjool dates, the Deglet Noor is able to hold its consistency throughout the entire baking and cooking process. That means it won’t turn into a gooey, mushy mess, ruining the dish.
When eaten before undergoing any heat, the Deglet Noor has what most people describe as a “snappy crunch” while also remaining slightly soft and pliable, almost like a firm caramel. It has a slightly sweet taste, in which some can relate the taste to that of browned butter or cashew. It’s easy to see why it’s considered the most popular date in the world!
Are Deglet Noor Dates Good for You?
There is really no end to the benefits of this variety of date when you factor in all the ways they are healthful for you. This particular variety is plentiful in B-vitamins, flavonoids, fiber, potassium, iron and antioxidants!
Unlike the inferior Medjool variety of dates, the Deglet Noor contains less sugar while remaining sweet and delicious. Because of their lower sugar content and sweet flavor, they are the preferred variety for sugar alternatives. Just another reason to love the Deglet Noor!
Other varieties, such as the Medjool, only contain fructose and glucose, causing an overpowering sweet flavor. The Deglet Noor, however, contains those with the addition of sucrose. It contains these three in almost all equal parts, making it the healthier and preferred choice.
With the added sucrose, the Delget Noor is great for quick energy on the go! Chop them up and add them to trail mix, or check out our Dates Sweetened Granola recipe for a little added fiber. Granola and date bars are one of the many great ways to eat these while hiking or exercising. Or, you can pack them in your lunch as a delicious and healthy side dish.
How To Eat Deglet Noor Dates?
As mentioned previously, the Deglet Noor is superior when it comes to baking and cooking. You could substitute other date varieties, but why spend money on ingredients that won’t really hold up to standard?
Deglet Noor Dates for Baking
Date varieties, like Medjool for instance, become overly gooey and turn to mush when baked or cooked. That is typically something we all try to avoid when we are baking something! Other varieties are too dry and a texture that is likewise.
The Deglet Noor won’t let you down, though! Their firm consistency when baked or cooked means that your cookies, breads or anything else will be lightly sweet and delectable with the perfect texture!
If you’re looking for a top-tier recipe to make with your Deglet Noor dates, check out this Sticky Toffee Date Cake! This is the perfect addition to breakfast, tea time, or dessert.
The Deglet Noor and Chocolate
Yes, we said chocolate! There are so many different foods that pair well with the Deglet Noor and chocolate happens to be one of them. The taste profile of the Deglet Noor also pairs well with coffee, nuts, orange, cream, apricots, bananas and other fruits.
Try out this Healthy Snickers Bars recipe, made with our organic pitted dates, to see for yourself!
Add Deglet Noor Dates to Your Salad
Many highly recommend using these in salads. Being as they hold their consistency well, chopping them up and adding them to superfood salads is perfect for adding a bit of sweetness and fiber into your day!
Deglet Noor is The Queen of All Dates
With so many unique applications and uses, there’s no question that the Deglet Noor is the best variety of date there is. Whether it’s for snacking, cooking or baking this date is great for any occasion.
When consider added health benefits, you can see just how versatile and useful this variety of date really is. All of this combined is the reason the Deglet Noor is the date variety of choice.
If you haven’t already tried this wonderful date, what are you waiting for? Try some today and experience all the Deglet Noor has to offer!