SOURCE: Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association

Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association

April 12, 2011 10:53 ET

Easter and Passover Put Medjool Date Growers in a Festive Mood

BARD VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 12, 2011) - Spring flowers, colored eggs and unleavened bread aren't the only symbols of Easter and Passover.

Dates have become synonymous with the spring holidays, according to the country's leading group of Medjool date growers.

The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association (BVMDGA), responsible for the majority of Medjool dates grown in the U.S., predicts that up to 30 percent of all dates consumed this year will be eaten in conjunction with the April religious holidays. The increased holiday demand is part of a nationwide "re-discovery" of the health, taste and cooking benefits of one of the world's oldest and most mysterious fruits.

Other times of significant Medjool date consumption include Hanukkah and Christmas, and during the month-long Muslim observance of Ramadan, which occurs this year in August.

"While Americans typically lag behind their counterparts in Europe and the Middle East in their appreciation of Medjools and other dates, we are definitely seeing resurgence in U.S. demand, especially during the spring holidays," said Ed O'Malley, president of Datepac, which in collaboration with the BVMDGA provides 70 percent of the U.S. Medjool date crop.

Long regarded as the "Fruit of Kings," Medjool dates are widely considered the most premium, best-tasting dates in the world.

"Most folks think they know dates -- and then they taste a Medjool right out of the box or in a recipe and it changes everything," said O'Malley. "The general consensus is that they taste more like caramel than a piece of fruit packed with more antioxidants than blueberry juice and more potassium than bananas."

According to O'Malley, Medjools are a good source of fiber and contain slightly less antioxidants than pomegranate juice. Naturally sweet, they contain no added sugar, are low glycemic for sustained energy and offer important vitamins and minerals, including Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin K.

For information and high-res art on Bard Valley Medjool Dates, including recipes, serving suggestions and nutritional information, go to www.bardmedjool.com.

About Bard Valley Medjool Dates
The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, a consortium of family growers in the southwest, is responsible for 70 percent of the Medjool dates grown in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bardmedjool.com.

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