Dates are grown throughout the Middle East and have been a staple of that region's cuisine for thousands of years. They're a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while reaping all the health benefits from the fiber, vitamins and minerals. Whether you want to use these fun fruits as a hearty appetizer or chop them up for an eclectic salad, Food & Wine's guide has all the delicious recipes, cooking techniques and chef tips that you need.

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Root Beer-Date Puree
While experimenting with different liquids to plump up dried dates, Dufresne had an epiphany about root beer. “They both have dark, opulent caramel flavors that play off each other,” he says. The sweetness of the compote makes it a natural match for rich meats and oily fish. Slideshow:  Cranberry RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges and Medjool Dates
Rating: Unrated 99
This gorgeous, lightly sweet salad is terrific with roasted chicken and great for a buffet.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
Mascarpone-Stuffed Dates
Rating: Unrated 2670
A dusting of unsweetened cocoa adds an appealing bitterness to this simple one-bite dessert. More Quick Desserts