Are you looking for a list of delicious dried fruits like dates? Well, then this is your lucky day. In this article, you’ll find 6 similar options that you’re sure to love.
If you’re fond of dates, you probably already know (and love) figs as well. That said, if you haven’t had a chance to try these beauties yet, definitely make them a priority. Fresh figs are an absolute joy to eat, but they’re just as wonderful when dried. Fresh, they have a creamy texture with floral notes and crunchable internal seeds. Once dried, they’re very similar to dates in both flavor and texture, and they develop deeper, more caramel/brown sugar notes.
Whether fresh or dried, try them stuffed with vegan goat cheese. The flavor combination is absolutely incredible.
Related Article: 10 Spices that Go with Figs
These are also very close to dates in flavor and texture, and are probably the easiest fruits like dates to come by. You can find them in pretty much every grocery store, and either eat them as is, or in various baked goods. Prunes still have a bit of their original acidic, plummy flavor, but they share dates’ deep caramel notes and chewy texture.
Just be careful not to eat too many of them in one sitting. Prunes have a rather …enthusiastic effect on one’s digestive system. You might want to go easy on them unless you want to be housebound for the day.
If you love all kinds of dried fruit, chances are you’ve tasted sultanas before. They’re made from a type of light green grape, and are raisins’ juicier, more flavorful cousins. In fact, their creamy texture and brown sugar/caramel flavor makes them taste very similar to dates: just bite-sized versions thereof.
Look for sultanas in the baking section at your local grocery store. They should be tucked in amongst the raisins, prunes, and dates, right where they belong.
4. Black Sapotes
Certain types of dates—especially Mazafatis—have buttery flesh and a rich flavor that’s very similar to chocolate. If this is a taste and texture combination that you adore, then see if you can get your hands on some black sapotes. They’re known as “chocolate pudding fruits” for good reason: their flesh tastes just like it!
While sapotes don’t have the chewiness that dates offer, their unbelievably delicious flavor comes close to date-like chocolate caramel sweetness. They’re native to Mexico, as well as South and Central America, which is great if you live in those areas. If you don’t, see if you can find them at a Mexican grocery store near you.
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These fruits are native to Peru and Chile, and look like round, smooth-skinned avocados. Once you get through the skin, you’ll find yellow-orange flesh surrounding a large central pit. In this regard, they’re very similar to fresh dates, which look quite different than their dried counterparts. Dates are also single-pit stone fruits, and are juicy and yellow when fresh!
Back to lucumas, however. That gorgeous flesh of theirs tastes like a cross between dates and bananas. These can’t be dried the same way dates can, but you can revel in their similar flavor while they’re still moist. You may be able to find them fresh or frozen in South American supermarkets so you can try them out.
Most people are familiar with the chewy candies known as “jujubes”, never knowing that those sweets are based on real fruits. The drupe fruits from the jujube tree are related to cherries, plums, and dates, and taste very similar to the latter when they’re dried. They’re sweet and sticky, and can either be eaten as is, or used as date substitutes in pretty much any recipe.
Since jujubes are mostly popular throughout the Near and Middle East, you’ll need to visit your local Lebanese, Israeli, or Turkish grocery store to get your hands on them. Alternatively, you can order them online, or book a ticket to Dubai to gorge on them. Your call.
As you can see, there are several other fruits like dates that you can enjoy on the regular. It’s fun to mix up different flavors in your favorite recipes, or even just see how various flavor pairings work out. Try adding some jujubes or figs to your next power ball recipe, for example. Or use 1/3 prunes alongside dates in date squares.
However you choose to try these fruits, be sure to luxuriate in their carameliciousness.