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Deglet Noor Dates vs. Medjool Dates - Which do you prefer?

Date Information

The second most popular date in the United States behind the Deglet Noor date is the Medjool date. Their are many other types of fruit dates, but when it comes to popularity these two dates are by far the most desired. Reports have shown that 95% of the date crops in California are Degelt Noor, and on average California produces over 41million pounds of deglet noor dates annually.

When we look at dates and start to see what sets them apart from each other its mainly on visual and texture. Their are three types of groups; dry, semi-dry and soft. So what's the difference between Medjool Dates and Deglet Noors?

Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates

The Medjool date falls into the soft date category. It's typically much larger in size then that of the Deglet Noor. When ripened it will be a brown to black color. Their flavor profile is that of caramel. They has a nice sweet flavor with a soft and chewy texture. They are very popular due to their size and versatility. They are easy to eat raw, stuffed or to cook with. Probably not the best date for making breads or pastries due to their soft texture. By far Medjools are the best for making date shakes. Medjool Dates originated in Morocco. Price wise medjool dates are a more expensive date and I would say on the high side of all the date varieties.

Deglet Noor Dates

Deglet Noor Dates

Photo Credit: By M. Dhifallah - M. Dhifallah, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Now lets take a look at the Deglet Noor date. These dates originated in Algeria. When translated Deglet Noor means "Date of Light". They have a sweet flavor profile. However, they are not as sweet as the Medjool date. They fall into the semi-dry date category so they are a little more harder or crunchier in texture. When ripened they will have a amber tone. Deglet Noor dates are also great for cooking and is the main ingredient in our very popular date sugar.

From a cost perspective Deglet Noor dates are very inexpensive and the go-to date when it comes to cooking with dates. From a calorie perspective they are about the same. Deglets have roughly 23 calories per date where medjools are right around 60 calories per date. Keep in mind that on average a medjool date is substantially bigger, so on a per date basis medjools would have more calories just because you get more date. By pound for pound the calorie count is similar.

It all comes down to preference. Availability is also a big part when selecting between the two. You can find Deglet noors in almost any grocery store, or here. Medjools are a bit more rare when it comes to retail distribution. In the end it's like comparing green apples to red apples or red grapes and green grapes. The debate on which date reigns supreme will go on. If you are asking for our opinion...there is a reason why Medjool dates are known as the "king of dates".

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  • DAno on

    Why bring political views into a subject so sweet and delicious. The deglet variety is by far my favorite. The texture and right amount of sweetness is great.

  • Mark on

    The medjool is much preferred. It is soft, sweet and feels wholly dissolvable in my mouth minus the pit. The skin and flesh of Neglects have a bit more of an unpleasant dry-fiber content that makes me feel like I need to brush and mouthwash after I eat them to get the dry skin flakes out of my gums and fibers out of my teeth, and they leave a little more of that bitter aftertaste. Since I use my dates as nothing more than a dessert snack, I only buy Medjool. As for Susan’s comment below – you should report food fraud, but I would think the box was more likely mislabeled or reused vs thinking the date packages were each individually mislabeled. As for the Palestine/Israel subject, while they both keep fighting dirty, may a pox be on both of their houses. Too many conservatives are too quick to defend Israel and too many liberals are too quick to defend Palestine. Neither of them owns the high road.

  • Mark Duncan on

    I like the deglet noor, medgool date is much to sweet…

  • Patricia Marckwardt on

    Bought Medjool dates from Costco May 2017. The package stated they were Produce of U.S.A. www.SunDate SunDate LLC Coachella, CA USA 92236. So maybe Costco listened? Or were they really from Israel or Palestine? I
    didn’t see the cardboard box they came in.

  • shmilda on

    Susan- FWIW, I the Medjool dates I regularly buy from Costco are labeled “Product of USA.” After a bit of research, I found that they were grown on Mexican occupied land, California or Arizona to be exact (so not even US, by your logic). I’ll spare Costco the whining, but please do let me know if you see the Israeli ones for sale, as I’d love to buy them.

    PS: They taste great, even after a couple of weeks. Supple flesh, with heavy caramel and honey notes.

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