The date is a fruit derived from the palm trees of the Middle East. It was originally traded to Spaniards, and introduced to California by Spanish missionaries in the mid-1700s. Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are currently the leading producers of dates.
Dates are categorized as dry, semi-dry and soft, depending on the sugar content found in the fruit. They are high in vitamin C and are praised by trekkers as an excellent source of calories. Dates can be deseeded and stuffed with a filling such as almonds or marzipan, can be chopped and used to sweeten dishes, or can be eaten whole by hand.
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