Firmer textured Deglet Noor is a perfect date-night snack. The Deglet's lovely translucence, nutty flavor, and subtler sweetness combine for a date that is especially pleasing to refined tastebuds.
Deglet Noor is a firmer date cultivar which also has two levels of firmness. Deglets are divided between the moister "natural" Deglet and the firm-pack Deglet, which is still fully natural – and is naturally a bit firmer. While grocery store Deglets are often very hard (and are usually somewhat old and have been steamed to remove the seed), all Deglet Noor dates from the Bautista Family are fresh and comparably moister, with the seed intact. If you select a wet-pack sampler that includes Deglet Noor dates and if "natural" Deglets have not yet sold out (see below for sellout dates), you will receive "natural" Deglets in your sampler. Since the moister "natural" Deglet Noor harvest is small, this is only way to receive "natural" Deglets. Firm-pack samplers and single variety packs include firm-pack Deglets.
The Deglet Noor harvest begins in September and usually sells out in spring. The 2014 harvest of "natural" Deglets sold out on January 21, 2015. The 2013 crop ("natural" and firm-pack) sold out on April 27, 2014.
Weather can affect the harvest's quantity and timing. In 2012, a harvest-season storm in Mecca resulted in a small crop and an early sellout – December 31, 2012. In a single September morning, Mecca was drenched with 5 inches of rain that ravaged the dates and flooded the streets of the town. The harvest of Deglet Noors, a variety that naturally ripens later in the season, had only recently begun. Rain is very damaging to dates during harvest season. While other local date growers lost their entire harvest, the Bautista Family's commitment to harvesting dates at their peak ripeness was rewarded: since they had harvested one time through before the storm, a small amount of Deglet Noor dates were still available to us all.
- With a complex, lightly sweet, deliciously nutty flavor, Deglets offer a subtler counterpart to the gooey varieties.
- Deglet Noor dates are naturally firmer than the soft varieties. Deglets from the Bautista Family offer a pleasant chewy texture. A lower moisture content means that Deglets keep well, even without refrigeration.
- Deglet Noor, the Date of Light, is a prized variety and is the most widely grown date. Its sophisticated, subtler flavor is particularly appreciated by those who find soft dates to be too sweet, as well as by chefs who value the Deglet Noor's exotic flavor and solid texture for sweet and savory recipes alike.