Don't Confuse Your Dates With Prunes, Know The Difference

A chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven that you bite into only to discover the chocolate chips are actually raisins is one of the greatest culinary discoveries ever. Instead, you may have taken home persimmons instead of the lovely orange tomatoes you thought you had bought at the shop. There are many similar dishes, and while seasoned cooks can distinguish between a and b with a quick glance, people who are less experienced in the kitchen may be innocent of accidentally substituting sugar for salt or cornflour for flour. 

Although not quite as confusing as sweet potatoes and yams, prunes and dates have several characteristics in common that make it difficult for beginners to distinguish between the two or, at the very least, determine whether they may be used interchangeably. Prunes and dates do have some fundamental distinctions that make each different, even if they are both pleasant to consume on their own. 


Dates, the fruit of the date palm tree, are oval, brown, and about one inch long. Dates are fruits that are widely available in the Middle East, North Africa, Mexico, California, and other warm regions. They are often dried before consumption and are brimming with natural sugary sweetness. A date's thin, edible skin separates from an extremely soft, almost gooey fruit interior that is encircled by an extended pit that should be thrown away. In addition to being frequently used in baking and cooking, they can also be consumed raw or as an ingredient in milkshakes or smoothies. 

There are many various kinds of dates, but the Medjool variety is the one that is most frequently found in American markets. Medjool dates have a flavour that is similar to maple syrup and are plump and luscious. They make a great appetiser when stuffed with cheese or wrapped with bacon and baked. Dates come in over 200 different varieties, with hues ranging from coffee to golden yellow, and are as sweet as honey, brown sugar, and caramel. Dates are a better alternative to table sugar despite having a high sugar content since they also include a lot of vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. 


Prunes are just dried and pitted plums, which are what all prunes are. Yet, they are notably less sweet than dates. They are nonetheless delectable in their own way. Prunes have a naturally sour exterior that translates to their dried cousins, so you could detect a mild sharpness when you pop one into your mouth. Prunes are typically somewhat larger than dates and round; but, when they are dried, they wrinkle up significantly, making the shape occasionally appear less spherical and more uneven. 

They have an interior that is equally as dark, velvety, mushy, and undeniably chewy, and are practically black in colour. Prunes aren't tough to consume because the chew isn't too gooey. Instead, it provides a pleasing texture. Prunes typically aren't labelled according to their variety, despite the fact that there are other varieties of plums available.  

Prunes might be a better option for a solo snack because they are not as sweet as dates. Prunes can be used as a great substitute for the typical dried fruits found on cheese boards such apricots and cherries in cooking. Prunes can also be used to produce cakes, juice. Dates and prunes are two of the nicest dried fruits since they resemble candy made by nature. 


You may be able to substitute one of these dried fruits for the other in some recipes. Because dates are so sweet, many baking recipes, including those for bread and cakes, call for them. Nevertheless, if all you have are prunes, the substitution should work just well, though slightly less sweetly. Due to their high sugar content, dates shouldn't be substituted in savoury stuffings that call for prunes. In this situation, it could be preferable to swap out the prunes with dried apricots, cherries, or cranberries. 

You might discover that the prunes' flesh is less flexible than dates' if you try to replace dates with prunes in a recipe for filled appetisers. Dates may be stuffed with cheese or nuts considerably more easily than prunes due to their chewy interiors because they are sticky and squishy. It's preferable to follow the recipe's instructions in this situation. Dates and prunes are two of the best dried fruits and candies that nature has to offer. In your kitchen, it's worthwhile to try with both.