General Information: Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine, and ate them at harvest. The Egyptians also ate another fruit of the Palm Tree, The Fruits of The Doum Palm. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).
In later times, Arabs spread dates around South and South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards by 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.
Among the Medjool's many nicknames, "king of dates" is most fitting. Once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests, they were a precious confection and remain so today. Like many delicacies, Medjools are pricey because their cultivation is a complex and labor-intensive process. Considered the diamond of dates, they are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture.