Fun Facts about Medjool Dates from the Bard Valley Growers

In an ongoing quest to unlock the mysteries surrounding one of the world’s oldest fruits, the growers of Bard Valley Natural Delights have assembled a list of surprising-but-true fun facts about Medjool dates.

An exotic and often misunderstood fruit, Medjool dates offer a variety of health and culinary benefits, making them an excellent addition to anyone’s daily routine, say company officials.

What are Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates?

  • Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates – known as Natural Delights for short – are grown by the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association (BVMDGA).
  • The small group of growers in the southwest that make up the BVMDGA supplies more than 60% of the Medjool dates grown in the U.S.
  • Dates are referred to as the “Fruit of the Kings.”

What are some popular uses for Medjool dates?

  • Medjool Dates are eaten year-round right out of the box and are great as a recipe ingredient – substituting refined sugars and enhancing flavor.
  • Most Medjool date consumption is holiday-related – Passover and Easter; Ramadan and Christmas and New Year’s – however the fruit is fast becoming an everyday indulgence in smoothies, as pre- and post-work out snacks and in recipes.
  • There is a growing library of Natural Delights Medjool Dates recipes – ranging from Medjool Date Power Balls, Medjool Date Salsa, Medjool Date Honey Glazed Shrimp and many more at www.naturaldelights.com.

What are the health benefits of Medjool dates?

  • Natural Delights are a no-fat, no-cholesterol treat.
  • Natural Delights are an excellent source of fiber and contain no added sugar.  They are low glycemic for sustained energy, naturally sweet and caramel-like.
  • They also contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals, most notably Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin K.  In fact, Medjool dates contain more potassium by weight than bananas.
  • Natural Delights are gluten-free, Vegan, Halal and Kosher.

What is the history of Medjool dates?

  • Medjool dates are considered the world’s oldest fruit. Archeological evidence from the Sumerian civilization show that dates were grown in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers before 3000 B.C.
  • Medjool date plantations were created in the desert areas of Arizona and California in the mid-1900s. Some of the original palm trees (or their offshoots) are still in existence in Southern California and just south of the Mexican border.
  • At the turn of the century, Medjool dates were predominately grown in Morocco, however, a disease called Baioudh nearly caused the Medjool to become extinct. In an effort to save the prized fruit, horticulturist Walter Swingle traveled to Morocco in 1927 and extracted 11 offshoots from remaining Medjool dates palms, and brought them back to southern Nevada for transplanting.  Nine of the 11 offshoots survived the transplanting and were eventually moved to Coachella Valley.
  • In 1944, offshoots from the original nine surviving Medjool palms were planted in Bard Valley, Ca. Sixty-five years later, six of those original trees are still standing in Bard Valley, each producing more than 200 pounds of dates each year. Over 250,000 date palms have originated from the “big six” since then.
  • Bard Valley’s unique micro climate of intense heat, low humidity and the high water table of the Colorado River make it the ideal location to grow Natural Delights Medjool Dates.
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