King Medjool vs Deglet Noor

  • 4 min read

What's the difference between Medjool Dates and Deglet Noor Dates?

Walk into any fruit store in the United States and ask for organic dates. The vendor will ask you a simple question: "Do you want Medjool or Deglet Noor date fruit?". These two varieties of dates constitute as the largest varieties found in regions of the United States and neighboring areas. There's so much rich history and qualities to both date varietals; it's hard to decide between the two date fruit sometimes. 

Back to the vendor, you’re standing there asking yourself if there is a difference between the two types of the same fruit?

The answer is: YES!

A Tale of Two Histories

Deglet Noor
The Deglet Noor variety is said to have originated early in the seventeenth century near Touggourt in the Algerian Sahara. Deglet Noor dates were first introduced to the United States in 1900; first introduced initially to Arizona then to California. This first importation of offshoots was planted near Tempe, in cooperation with the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station. Four years later a few of the young palms were transplanted to the new experiment station established at Mecca, at the lower end of the Coachella Valley. It was soon evident that Deglet Noor produced better quality fruits in California. The demand for Deglet Noor offshoots led to several large importations in the period between 1911-1921. The Coachella Valley proved more favorable for fruiting of this variety. Better fruit was produced at Mecca and Indio, 20 miles up the same valley. The prospects of growing Deglet Noor on a commercial scale gradually began to make an appeal to Coachella Valley settlers. That's why the center of Deglet Noor production is now here, in the Coachella Valley, California.

King Medjool
A relatively recent importation, the Medjool got its start in the United States from a eleven offshoots, secured in 1927 from the Boudenib Oasis in French Morocco by Dr. Walter T. Swingle of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once one of the choicest dates in the Mediterranean area, The Medjool Date has now all but disappeared from the Mediterranean market due to the ravages of the dread Baioudh disease. It had been especially prized in Spain and, for centuries after the Arab occupation, Spaniards sent carefully packed boxes of Medjools to their friends as Christmas gifts. The Medjool might have been lost to the world forever were it not for for Dr. Swingle's timely importation. The offshoots, which he brought to the U.S., were thought to be disease free, but were nonetheless planted for a number of years in an isolated quarantine station at South Point, Nevada, and later moved to the U.S. Government Experiment Station at Indio. So, from this small start the entire supply of Medjool palms in this country was developed. Currently these dates are grown here at Oasis Date Gardens.

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Can You Taste the Difference?

Medjool Dates Taste

The most noticeable difference between any two varieties of the same fruit comes through in the taste, if not otherwise visible. This is the case with these two varieties of date fruit. Medjool dates are commonly referred to as ‘Bakers Choice.’ Why? Well, their flavor profile comes in a lot sweeter than the other. Hence, they are seen as a natural sugar substitute and used to make a variety of date-incorporated condiments such as sweeteners and syrups.

Noor Deglet Dates Taste

Noor Deglet Dates, on the other hand, have a comparatively less sweet flavor profile and are thought of as a bit less of a condiment and more so incorporated in whole dishes. The taste of a pitted date is similar to cashew and browned butter. It has a very nutty finish taste. 

Do Deglets and Medjools Differ in Nutritional Value?

After flavor comes nutrition; or rather, they’re synonymous with one another. First to consider is the fact that Medjool dates – the sweeter of the two, have a higher fructose content.

Let’s recap here:

Glucose is pure sugar. It's the kind of sugar that we digest and then assimilate in our bodies. Fructose is 'fruit sugar'. It's the kind of sugar that gives fruits such as mangoes their sweet flavor. Sucrose is commonly referred to as table sugar; and, it's the form of sugar most often found in homes.

Now, Medjool dates have a higher content of fructose; and, a practically null content of sucrose. Noor Deglet Dates have a relatively similar content of all three sugars. Besides noticeable difference in taste, the nutritional profile of both of these fruits is more or less the same.

Dates contribute as rich sources of fiber, potassium and magnesium – all essential for normal digestive processes.

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Different and Delicious ways to Enjoy Deglet and Medjool Date Fruit?

Medjool Dates

Medjool dates, both raw and cooked, can be used in a wide variety of ways. Eating Medjool Dates fresh is a great way to take in the sweetness.
However, there are many ways to enjoy if you want to pair them with other food. Because King Medjool Dates are rather large relative to Deglet Noor dates, they can be used as stuffing with savory or sweet fillings (ex: lemon peel, marzipan, blue cheese, candied orange, or even nuts like pistachios, pecans and almonds). Medjool dates can also be chopped into food dishes such as salads and sandwiches to act as a sweeter complement to any fresh dish. In addition, these organic dates can also be pressed into syrup and blended into smoothies. The uses are truly limited to the imagination. 

Deglet Noor Dates

Deglet Noor dates can be easily chopped and diced without becoming too mush due to their drier nature. They can be used in bakery foods such as bread, cakes and cookies. These organic dates are the preferable for baking because of their modest sweetness. Noor Deglet dates are commonly used as an alternative sweetener for date sugar manufacturing. Flavors that are complimentary with organic Noor deglet dates include maple syrup, cinnamon, coconut, apricot, brandy, rum, chocolate, bacon, pork, poultry and many others.

Organic Fresh Date Product Attributes:
Certified: Organic, Halal, Kosher
Contains no additives, no preservatives, is Non-GMO, contains no Allergens, sulfating agents, or artificial flavors are used in this product
Healthy snack
Medjool and Deglet Noor Dates are Certified Organic, Certified Gluten Free, and Kosher Certified and Halal Certified.

Storage and shelf life:
We recommend storing the fruit in cool refrigerated to frozen temperatures. If kept frozen, this fruit has a shelf life of up to 12 months.

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