In Season: Fresh Dates

My first taste of fresh dates left the taste of disappointment heavy on my tongue, my lips.

It was the first time I’d tried them. Seen them close-up, so when I saw them on an enamel tray in Lagos traffic, I ‘dived’ for a bag. At N200.

These fresh dates were yellow with light brown freckles, and reminded me of skinny Ube.


The first bite messed with my head – the astringency, the crunch, the freshness. The taste spoke of green guavas and unripe pears, as did the crunch but it left a slightly powdery feeling on my tongue. I tried hard to finish one off…and it was tough.



I guess I half expected that the source of dried, sticky, really-sweet dried dates would have some of the DNA from the start but no, this white fleshed fruit of the date palm was having none of it.

I considered making a pickle, some salsa or salad but never quite got round to it. Instead, I invested the crunch into a Chicken stew with stunning results.


Have you tried fresh dates before? What’s your favourite way to use them?[wpurp-searchable-recipe]In Season: Fresh Dates – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. I tried fresh dates for the first time in The Hague and I really liked them, the ones I tried were a deep red though so I wonder if they were a different variety or maybe more mature. I actually quite liked them, they were mildly astringent which felt odd but I loved the crunch and the sweetness. They are so hard to come by but next time I do I’ll try the chicken stew idea

    • Red ones, hmm. I want to try more, of different varieties – and it is possible, they may be more mature. I want to see if I can get into them and enjoy them fresh…The chicken stew was delish though so there’ll always be that temptation. Sigh

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