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Just think of the Medjool as ‘the perfect date’

The Medjool date.

(Christian Reynoso)

Medjools are beautifully plump, bigger than most dates, and soft and sweet. What’s more, they travel well and keep for a long time. Is it any wonder they are sometimes called “the perfect date” or “the king” of California dates?

Here are a few other things you should know about Medjools:

• They were introduced to California in 1927 when Dr. Walter T. Swingle of the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought young offshoots of date palms here from Morocco (where a rare disease nearly wiped them out). They subsequently thrived in Southern California’s dry, hot desert.

• Their flavor can range anywhere from wildflower honey to caramel to brown sugar to cinnamon.

• Medjools have a chewy, sticky texture that firms up as they age. But even after a year in storage, the dates will remain relatively soft.

• That softness (and delicacy) comes with a price. Medjools usually are picked by hand — one at a time — rather than in large clusters.

• Their taste is most pronounced at room temperature.

• Medjools are in season from September through November.

• One date can grow up to 3 inches long, making them great for snacking — and pitting and stuffing.

• One large Medjool date is about 37 calories.

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