You decided to buy some dates to try them in a dessert or because a recipe called for it. You are new to datesso the first question you ask is: do dates expire?
And then he learns that there are many varieties of dates, some of them are sold soft, others dry, and the semi-dry ones in between. Naturally, you wonder if you can store them all in the same way or not. Or if the shelf life is different between varieties.
In short, many questions arise after learning about it. Or at least many of them appeared in my head.
In this article, I summarize what I learned. about the different varieties of dates, their shelf life, storage methods and signs of spoilage. If you want to learn a thing or two about this fruit, keep reading.
How to store dates
Okay, first of all, while there are many cultivars of dates, only a few are really popular. The most popular are the Deglet and Medjool varieties. That means if you bought a pack at the grocery store, it’s probably one of the two. And even if you have a different variety, storage guidelines remain largely the same.
There are three options when it comes to storing dates. These include keeping them at room temperature, like at the grocery store, refrigerating them, or freezing them.
As with almost any other fruit, the longer you expect to store dates, the cooler the environment should be.
For short-term storage, like about a month or so, room temperature is fine. Just make sure the fruit sits in a cool, dry place, away from heat sources. The pantry or a dark cabinet in the kitchen are perfect options.
Once you open the container, make sure you seal it well or if that’s not possible, transfer the dates to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will last longer and will not dry out this way.
For long-term storage, the fridge is a much better option. In fact, some companies recommend the refrigerator as the go-to place to store your fruit. And if you live in a hot climate, the fridge should be your primary option.
Again, remember to keep the container sealed tightly or use your own if the original doesn’t fit well. Good environmental protection is especially important for the softer dates so that they do not dry out.. The dried ones do much better in the refrigerator, even if they are not well sealed.
If you need to store dates for a long time, freezing is an option. And unlike many other fruits, such as apples, dates freeze very well without any preparation.
That’s because they have a very high sugar content. If you take a look at the nutrition facts for a Medjool date, there are 16 grams of sugar in a 24-gram date, that’s quite a lot.
If your package is still unopened, just put it in the freezer. If not, transfer the dates to a freezer bag and container first. Just make sure they are well sealed.
How long are the dates?
As I already mentioned, there are quite a few cultivars of dates. And while their lifespan isn’t exactly the same, these basic guidelines should be enough for you to know.
First and foremost, dates last quite a long time, compared to other fruits, like bananas. At room temperature, they can last between a month. up to 3 months. When you keep them in the fridge, they retain their quality for between 6 and 12 months. For even longer storage, freeze the fruits.
If your dates are softer, their shelf life will be shorter than drier varieties. That means you should pay attention to the lowest value in the given time intervals.
|6 – 12 months
Please note that the periods above are estimates only.
How to know if the dates have gone wrong
First, if the dates have sugar specifications (or white film), okay. The condition is reversible: simply place the dates in the sunlight for a while or in the microwave in a resealable bag with a few drops of water for 30 seconds.
But if the dates turned darker in color or has signs of mold, throw them away. the same when they smells bad or rotten.
If they look good and smell as usual, give them a taste and based on this, decide what to do with them. If the taste is not up to your standard, feel free to discard them for quality reasons. Otherwise, they are perfectly fine to eat.