This weekend I went to a Golden Globes viewing party, with a potluck theme of “healthy but tasty”. I can only presume this theme was so that we could feel good about ourselves as we indulged in watching (and judging) some of the most beautiful human beings alive walk down that red carpet.

As I thought about what my contribution would be, I knew of course that I would be bringing fruit of some sort and that I wanted the fruit to be both simple and extremely indulgent if possible. I had some Medjool dates in the pantry, also known as the King of Dates, which seemed appropriate for watching our movie royalty — a nuance that I find amusing.

I remembered a recipe I saw over here on Whole Living for pistachio stuffed dates with coconut and knew I wanted to give it a try. Also, I had all of these items in my pantry. It’s funny how my plans always seem ten times better when they don’t require an extra trip to the store.

Now don’t get me wrong. Medjool dates don’t really require any embellishment whatsoever. They are crazy good all by themselves. But if you want a simple, healthy appetizer or dessert that will impress, these are the way to go. As I mentioned, I went with the simple filling of ground, salted pistachios topped with dessicated coconut — a combination that tastes far more complex and exotic than the three ingredients imply. Also these do very well with the vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free crowds and certainly could be made raw with a thoughtful purchase of ingredients. I’ve seen other recipes for filling them with cream cheese and peanut butter, as well as pure almond paste from Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook. (A book I really want to own, not just peruse at Anthropologie.) Food & Wine fills them with mascarpone and then sprinkles them with unsweetened cocoa, which sounds amazing. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought. I love simple, decadence.


APPEARANCE Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Lumpy, brown pod the size of a man’s finger.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Rich, deep molasses that goes on and on but only if you hold it up to your nose, which I did over and over.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★★

Ooey, gooey, sticky soft flesh with a thin, moist, papery skin. Has a single seed inside that is easy to remove. The texture gets harder and more like taffy or firm caramel as dates age and dry out.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Molasses mixed with caramel covered in vanilla honey. Pure, sweet indulgence.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★½

While I have thoroughly enjoyed the Barhi, Zahidi and Abada Dates I have tried in the past, the Medjool really does standout and live up to its reputation of being the King of Dates. I keep taking a bite (it takes me about three bites to eat a single one) and then pressing the soft flesh against the roof of my mouth and savoring the flavor on my tongue. It is a rich, luscious delight. And while I provided a recipe here, they really need nothing additional to be one of the best dessert you have had in a while, not to mention the healthiest.

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