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Fresh dating 2016 info link

Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long, and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety.Dates contain a single stone about 2–2.5 cm (0.8–1.0 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) thick. The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose, and sucrose content.

The fruit's English name (through Old French), as well as the Latin species name dactylifera, both come from the Greek word for "finger", dáktulos, because of the fruit's elongated shape.Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars.Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants.In order to get fruit of marketable quality, the bunches of dates must be thinned and bagged or covered before ripening so that the remaining fruits grow larger and are protected from weather and pests such as birds.Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food.Three main cultivar groups of date exist: soft (e.g. The date palm is dioecious, having separate male and female plants.'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality.Dates are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco.Dates are also mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Qur'an.Date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and start producing viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 and 10 years.Mature date palms can produce 150–300 lb (70–140 kg) of dates per harvest season, although they do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required.

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