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?
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
Photo Credit: By M. Dhifallah - M. Dhifallah, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5008481
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...their is a reason why Medjool dates are known as the "king of dates".