Since smarts are sexy, here's a horticultural lesson for you: Most date varieties are grown strictly from the offshoots (cuttings) of the parent tree, resulting in identical fruit. A Medjool is a Medjool is a Medjool. But "Honey" is a catch-all name for dates grown from seed, so there is no one true Honey date. These one-of-a-kind little sweeties are the delicious result of fallen fruit that has taken root.
The Honey harvest begins in August and sells out in the winter or spring. The 2014 harvest of Honey dates (both wet-pack and firm-pack) sold out on December 15, 2014. The 2013 harvest of Honey dates (both wet-pack and firm-pack) sold out on February 24, 2014.
The 2012 harvest of Honey dates took a heavy hit. 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 Honeys were hit the hardest by this rain and the accompanying windstorm and humidity – highly unusual weather for the desert. Alicia told us that in her more than 30 years in Mecca she has never seen anything like it. 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 precious few Honeys (firm-pack only) were available to us all.
- Although the Honey crop from each tree is different, Honey dates hold a special place in our heart. Some of the most incredible dates we've tasted have been mysterious molasses-flavored Honey dates.
- Melting softness is a reliable trait of every Honey, though part of the fun with this variety is that texture can range from very smooth to a light and enjoyable chewiness. Honeys are always a moist date.
- Honey will keep you guessing with unique flavors and looks that are always delicious, but never exactly the same. If you're looking for adventure, Honey is the date for you!