The 'king' of dates, the luxurious medjool, should be softly wrinkled yet plump, deep brown and shiny with lush, dense and fibrous flesh surrounding a slender stone. Deliciously sweet, they sing with complex caramel flavours reminiscent of muscovado sugar and toffee. The medjool is native to Iraq and ancient Persia and the Middle East remains the greatest producer and exporter. Use them in savoury dishes balanced with salty, sharp flavours, or in place of traditional sugars to add character, nutrients and sweetness to cakes, smoothies and sauces.

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