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Tabarzal Dates

The origins of the Tabarzal date palm are unclear, but under pioneer date growers M. R. Sheets and then Jess Wise, the Tabarzal palms were developed in groves near Mecca, California in the first half of the past century. Before commercial production of the Medjool dates in the 1960's, the Tabarzal was one of the largest dates grown in the Coachella Valley of California. It was featured at historic Valery Jean's Date Shop on old Hwy. 99 (a couple of miles from our home and farm).

Pato's Dream Date Gardens purchased and planted 5 offshoots from the original grove in 1980, and offers our premium fruit of this heirloom variety by mail order and at the Alhambra Farmers' Market on Sundays. Our 2-lb boxes are the premium fruit. Our 6 -lb. "bargain boxes" have smaller sized fruit. Our 2013 crop is disappointing, mostly smaller fruit and damaged by the monsoon rains of late August and September, but good flavor for what we harvested... The fruit is softer and medium soft, about 40-50 to the pound, with a caramel like flavor, not quite as over-powering as the sweetness of the medjool, but with a very rich and satisfying flavor. One customer uses the drier fruit in a delicious date/ coconut macaroon cookie. The original groves of the Tabarzal palms in Mecca are now gone, and Pato's is the only commercial source for this unique, heirloom variety.

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