To remove the pit from a date, make a small cut on the end and squeeze the pit out. Alternatively, cut the date through the long side and remove pit with the tip of a knife.
To boost flavour and moisture, dried dates can be coated in honey or soaked in a liquid such as tea or various types of alcohol.
It is best to store both fresh and dried dates in the refrigerator. In an airtight container, fresh dates can last up to two weeks, while dried dates can last up to a year.
When purchasing dates, look for ones that have a shiny, smooth skin and avoid those that appear shrivelled or have sugar crystals on their surface.