Many people often think dates go bad earlier than most dried food products. However, dates can sustain a long storage life if you store them in a colder environment.
With so many varieties of dates that are sold in different forms, you may wonder, should we treat them the same way.
Well, to answer that, you may have to first find out what are dates anyway. Often described as caramelized raisins, dates carry a chewier texture and have a sweet flavor.
You can get them soft, semi-dry, and dry, out of which the latter is the most common and flavorsome form.
So why should you not consider bad dates? It is obvious that a bad date can ruin your masterpiece recipe following its low or weakened flavors. Besides ruining your taste, a bad date can deprive you of all the nutritional benefits a good date offers.
How long do dates last? How to tell if dates have gone bad? Stick around this article, and we will answer all your queries.
Do Dates Go Bad? How Long Do Dates Last?
Dates have multiple stages of ripeness, which consist of changes in shapes and flavor. The most crucial stage is shelf life, which can extend the quality of dates for months if stored properly. Dates can outlast even for months after completing the best-by date.
You can store dates in three different ways. The first option would be storing them in your kitchen at room temperature.
But this technique works well with ripe dates such as Tamar and Rutab, and your dates’ quality will be fine for about three months.
If you want to store them for long, storing them in a fridge will be your next option. Dates packed in freezer bags sustain their flavor for many months, and in some cases, it will last more than a year in your fridge. This technique works well for Khalal dates as well.
Freezing the dates and storing them in aluminum foil provides the longest shelf life for your dates. Wrapping is the most crucial step in this process to maintain the quality and flavor.
Tip: Wrapping in different and small sections will allow you to maintain proper usage and avoid defrosting a large package.
Like other fruits, dates go bad even if you freeze them. Their quality degrades, and their rich, sugary flavor also weakens at a certain point.
You may witness a change in color or shape, and the next part explains the signs of bad dates and their cause.
How to Tell if Dates are Bad? Dates Shelf Life!
Dates have a healthy shelf life, but they do go bad after a certain period. Below are the three major signs, which help you to identify the expired raisins.
1. Dates lose their color and become moldy with time and also lose their flavor. If a date is developing mold around its body or turning much darker than the usual color, it would be best to cast them. Loss of moisture is the cause of this condition.
Please note: In some cases, dates coats itself with its inner sugar contents, which may look like molds. In such cases, dates are perfect for eating, and careful observation is the best approach.
2. Spoiled dates often release bad smells, which acts as a clear indication that it’s time to throw them out. Age and environmental factors such as air are the primary cause of this problem.
3. Dates’ taste attracts many people, but rotten dates attract other visitors too. Worms, bugs, and other insects often take refuge inside dates, and small specks found on the outer body indicate your dates have gone bad.
Proper storage helps in sustaining the quality of dates and extends their overall shelf life. If you want some mouth-watering recipe ideas with dates, check these 13 best recipes by TheKitchn.