Save the date. No, we’re not talking about a social engagement, but the fruit. Drying is a great way to let us continue enjoying dates even when they’re out of season. Lasting up to a year, dried dates are sweeter and richer in flavor than fresh fruit and, consequently, are an essential ingredient in baking and desserts. They’re the perfect take along snack and new research is suggesting that dried fruits are dense in antioxidants. Dates originated in the area around the Persian Gulf. There is evidence that dates have been cultivated for thousands of years.