House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - March 2023 Dates

Spotlight: It’s a date!

What is the best time of day to have a date? Perhaps you prefer a breakfast date, a little lunchtime snack date, or maybe more of a dinner date. Yes, dates are one of the most versatile fruits, from a breakfast date smoothie to peanut and jelly stuffed date snacks, to even feta, chili, and date-topped pizza for dinner – dates are perfect for any meal.

Traditionally, dates are native to the middle east, with Egypt standing as the biggest export. They grow on their own variety of palm trees and are often found in clusters. Properly maintained the tree can live up to 100 years, although it can take anything between 4 -8 years before the plant starts bearing any fruit. In the UK, the Medjool date is mostly imported and commonly available in supermarkets – but what is so special about the date?

These little wonders have the lowest moisture content than any other fruit, naturally 30% dehydrated.

The older the fruit is, the further the fruit dries out and starts creating sugar crystals. Thus, as the moisture decreases and the sugar weight increases, changing the ratio and as a result forms a sweeter product. This natural sweetness makes dates a viable choice when replacing sugar or sweeteners in a recipe whilst still having a lower glycaemic index and fructose level – admittingly this isn’t anything new. The protein/ health market has long understood this, as we commonly see dates being used as a binder as well as providing a sweet flavour in fruit bars or balls. Alternatively, maybe you’ve noticed the vegan market using dates as a dairy substitute in caramels or even seen the latest decaffeinated coffee made from just the pits – dates have no limit. As we take more inspiration from global cuisine, we are also noticing the beautiful pairing of dates with savoury dishes, as chefs use the natural sweetness to add a final depth to the dish – What is your favourite date-inspired recipe?

Whether the date aroma needs uplifting, or you want to add a little extra sweetness without the extra calories we have the flavouring for you. Our concepts use Date 85/23443, delivering a sweet, fruity, and little fragrant sensation with an underlining earthy end note – ideal for bakery, caramels, and dairy.

A little vegan biscuit to accompany that morning cuppa? Showcasing the Date 85/23443 in both the biscuit base and caramel, it is balanced with Cardamom 85/22841 for a sweet spice base and paired with the Caramel 85/21980 to add an extra creamy diary note to uplift the vegan base. The biscuit is then layered on a rich dark chocolate using Lemon Curd 85/21818 to reduce the bitter notes and cut through the sweet delivery of the rest of the product.

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House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - March 2023 Dates

Don’t be deceived by the dark shell, inside is an enriched brioche dough using Date 85/23443 to create a sweet fruity slightly fragrant enchantment. The light and silky dough is complimented with a caramelised apple and Date 85/23443 flavoured filling, binding together the acidic nature of the apple with the floral sweetness of the date – perfect for those coffee mornings.

House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - March 2023 Dates