History of the Medjool Date
The Medjool date is considered the premiere variety of dates. Its larger size, chewy texture, and decadently sweet flavor have made the Medjool prized above others for millenniums. It is considered the oldest cultivated fruit, with evidence of its consumption by ancient cultures in the Middle East dating back to around 6,000 B.C. Historically, the fruit was highly coveted due to its difficult and labor-intensive cultivation. It was enjoyed exclusively by royalty and reserved for lavish celebrations, thus inspiring the titles “The King of Fruits” and “The Diamond of Fruits”.
The first Medjool palms came to the United States in 1927, when Walter Swingle, an American horticulturist rescued nine offshoots from Moroccan crops then threatened by disease. Those nine offshoots were brought to California and planted in the Coachella Valley, where 75% of dates in the United States are now grown. All Caramel Naturel dates grow in the Coachella Valley. And our Medjool crops are descended from the surviving Moroccan palms.
Fortunately, Medjool dates have become more widely accessible in modern times by virtue of successful California farming and advances in technology that make cultivation more efficient. Their presence in California and in the U.S. over the last century has helped the fruit adapt itself more diversely into American culinary culture. Growing awareness of the Medjool’s incomparable nutritional content has commanded a more widespread demand as well. But as popular as the Medjool continues to become, it will always have the quality and the tradition of being special, exotic, and utterly delicious.
*For culinary inspiration and wine pairings, please see Recipes.
*For Health Benefits, please see Nutrition Information.