Before, dates are used only behind the scenes—as sweeteners and binders in certain meals.
But thanks to its high nutritional content, it’s now taken center stage as everyone’s favorite item to snack on. (*)
Despite its increasing popularity, one issue still remains: it’s hard to find at the store!
So where are dates in the grocery store?
Quick answer: Check the Produce Section for fresh dates and the Snacks Aisle for dry dates.
However, certain stores may display it in other sections.
If you want to know where you might find this item, keep on reading.
- Where are Dates in the Grocery Store?
- Which Stores Sell Dates?
- Where to Buy Dates Online?
- Which are the Best Brands of Dates?
- How to Buy the Best Dates
- What to Use Instead of Dates?
- The Bottom Line
Where are Dates in the Grocery Store?
The location would depend on the type of dates you’re looking for.
You can find fresh dates in the Produce section. Most likely, it will be beside grapes and other fresh fruits.
On the other hand, grocery stores display dried dates in the Dried Fruits and Nuts section. If the store doesn’t have a dedicated aisle for such food items, the next best option that you have is to visit their Snacks Aisle.
You may also want to check out the store’s International Food Store. Most probably, you’ll see it in the rack where the Middle Eastern food items are.
Last but not least, you should head to the store’s Bulk Section if you’re looking to buy huge amounts of dried dates.
Which Stores Sell Dates?
To be honest, dried dates are a lot easier to find than fresh dates. Most large supermarkets sell dried dates while you can only find fresh dates in a store that carries a culturally diverse food selection.
If you want to get both, here are some of the best stores you can visit:
Most Whole Foods branches have both types of dates, plus more. Aside from these two types, you can also find energy bars and spreads made with dates which are perfect on-the-go snack options.
You can also find both types in almost all branches of Safeway. The best part about buying dates from Safeway is you can get to enjoy their delivery service, so you don’t have to head to the store to get one.
Fresh dates are often available in Target’s well-stocked Produce section while you can find dried dates in their Dried Snacks section.
The store offers dried dates under its own brand name. The good news is you might also find fresh dates from their Produce section from time to time.
On the other hand, here are the stores that carry dried dates:
You can find different brands of dried dates in Walmart’s Dried Fruit and Vegetable Section.
The good news is you can take advantage of the company website’s store locator or their mobile app to determine the item’s location and availability.
This store offers dried dates under its store brand name.
If there are ethnic markets near where you live, then you may want to check them out. This is most especially true if the market carries Middle Easter food items.
Aside from dried dates, you might also find fresh ones there.
Where to Buy Dates Online?
In addition to buying dates from these stores, you can also order the item online. Here are some of the websites that you should check out:
When it comes to a wide selection of brands, types, and sizes, Amazon is your best choice. In fact, they carry most of the top-tier brands of dates.
Not only that, they also offer dates in bulk, so you get to save a whole lot of money when you buy from them.
But wait, there’s more. The best thing about buying from Amazon is you get to enjoy their same-day delivery service.
If you’re looking for fresh dates, this is the best website that you should visit. Aside from Medjool Dates, the website also sells Brown Barhi and Zahidi Dates.
This website always has a variety of both dried and fresh dates. However, the availability will vary depending on your location, so you check the website first.
Aside from its store locator feature, you can also use its official website to place your order and have the items delivered to your doorstep within 24 to 48 hours.
Which are the Best Brands of Dates?
If you’re wondering which brand of dates should you buy, here are some of our recommendations:
This product is made with dates made in California. The fruits are USDA organic and Non-GMO, and they are also grown using all-natural and sulfite-free pesticides.
As a premier grower and packer of California dates, Hadley Date Gardens is known for offering all types and variants of dates. They also sell both small packages and bulk packaging at wholesale prices.
The company sells premium-quality Al Madina Ajwa Dates.
This product has all the amazing things you’d ever want in your dates. It’s USDA Organic, Vegetarian, Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-free, and Sulfite-free. Not only that. It also has no artificial flavors or chemical additives.
The package contains largest -sized dates that were grown in Israel. Just a heads up, the product has pits.
How to Buy the Best Dates
To determine which of these products you should choose, here are some of the things that you need to consider:
Dates come in two types—dried and fresh. It’s important to explore their differences to know which is the best option for you.
With that said, fresh dates are moist and give off a flavor that tastes like honey.
On the other hand, dried dates have a lower moisture content. Because of this, it has a sweeter taste and more concentrated flavor. The drying process also gives the dried dates a chewy texture and caramel-like taste.
Because of this, fresh dates are your best option if you’re just looking for something to snack on while dried dates are often used for baking and cooking.
There are actually about 1500 varieties all over the globe. Here are some of the most popular ones:
This is the most flavorful variant of all. Because of its amazing texture, this type of date is best eaten fresh.
This is soft, meaty, and quite sweet. As compared to other varieties, it has the darkest shade of them all.
This is actually a dry variety that is grown in Saudi Arabia, and it’s considered to be one of the most nutritious variants as it’s effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
This variant is known for its melt-in-the-mouth texture. However, it has a short shelf life—only 15 days.
Grown in Oman, this variant is plump, large, and extra moist.
Texture and Appearance
As much as possible, avoid dates that are overly dried. To ensure this, you need to pay extra attention to the fruit’s texture and appearance.
With that said, the fruit’s skin must be translucent with no to minimal tears and rips. It should also have a nice shine and not a dull and boring surface.
Additionally, the fruits must be plump and only a bit wrinkly but not to the point that it looks shriveled.
Lastly, each piece must be intact and separated and not mashed or formed into a clump.
Pro Tip: White spots on the skin indicate sugar crystallization. While dates with such spots are still safe to eat, it’s best that you skip buying those since their quality is starting to deteriorate.
Learn more: Are Dates and Figs The Same Thing?
What to Use Instead of Dates?
There are a lot of amazing substitutes that mimic dates’ texture and sweetness. However, such alternatives may deliver a different flavor.
- If your recipe calls for chopped dates, you can easily substitute it with chopped raisings since it has the same flavor and a similar taste.
- Another amazing option is dried cranberries. However, you may want to add honey to counteract their tartness.
- Last but not least, you can also use fruit spread or preserves if you’re just looking to add sweetness to your baked goods and dishes.
The Bottom Line
Where are dates in the grocery store? If you’re looking for fresh dates, you should check the Produce Section. For dry dates, check out the Snacks Aisle, Dry Fruits and Nuts Area, International Food Section, and Bulk Section.
If you want to enjoy dates at their finest, make sure to inspect their texture and appearance closely. On the other hand, you should check customer reviews and feedback if you’re buying fruits online.