Are Dates a Stone Fruit? (EXPLAINED)

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Are Dates a Stone Fruit_ (EXPLAINED)

The Date, known scientifically as Phoenix dactylifera, or Date Palm, is a sweet fruit that originates from the middle east. They are an excellent natural sweetener, but even more impressively, they are believed to promote better brain health and help fight disease.

Today, Dates are consumed worldwide, mainly for their sweetness rather than their medicinal value. They remain mainly cultivated in places like North Africa, Algeria, Iran, and South Asia due to the climate.

These tasty and nutritious fruits contain high fiber and between roughly 60-percent sugar and 70-percent sugar when they are dried. 

But – let’s get to the main question, are Dates considered stone fruit?

Quick Answer: Yes, Dates are stone fruits. Measuring just over 1-inch to nearly 3-inches in length, and approximately an inch wide, Dates contain a stone in the center of their fruit. Date stones measure roughly an inch long and 0.2 to 0.3-inches wide.

Are Date Stones Freestone or Clingstone?

Most Date species are freestone stone fruit. That means the stones in the center of the fruit come out with very little effort. 

There are an estimated 250 to 400 (or more) cultivars of Dates in the world, and most of them produce freestone fruits.That said, some cultivars may indeed produce clingstone fruits.

Most of the time all it takes to remove Date pits is slicing it open, or simply removing the stem, and pushing or squeezing the stone out with your fingertips. 

With a bit of practice, the freestones sitting in the center of Dates are quick and easy to remove.

Similar Stone Fruits

A few of the most similar stone fruits to Dates include:

  • Apricots are a sweet stone fruit that shares similarities with Dates, such as their sweet and soft texture and easy-to-remove stones.
  • Cherries are another sweet stone fruit similar to Dates in that they are excellent to dry and use as an ingredient in other foods or to eat as is.
  • Figs are perhaps the most similar stone fruit to Dates in texture, taste, and fiber contents once dried.
  • Peaches are one of the most popular stone fruits consumed around the world, with one of the largest stones (which may be clingstone or freestones depending on the species).
  • Prunes are also a stone fruit that are often dried and used as ingredients for other foods or eaten raw once dried, like Dates.