Are Dates and Plums the Same? If Not, What’s the Difference?

These are bowl of figs, plums and dates on a woven wicker placemat.

Even if dry fruits are no longer exotic, we can nevertheless be perplexed while distinguishing between different types of them. Prunes and dates are the two types of dried fruits that are frequently confused. Prunes are actually plums that have been dried.

So, what’s the difference between dates and plums?

Because dates are dry fruits while plums are mushy, luscious, and squishy, there is no comparison between the two. Dates and prunes, on the other hand, are the dried form of plums. Thus they can be compared. Dates and plums are two different types of fruits.

To better understand why we say dates and plums are two completely different fruits, let’s look at the fundamental differences between the two.

The only thing they have in common is that they are both bone stone fruits.


Phoenix dactylifera, also known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant in the Arecaceae palm family that is grown for its tasty sweet fruit. The species is commonly cultivated in Northern Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and many tropical and subtropical locations around the world.

A date is a stone fruit, which means it has a single seed surrounded by a fleshy fruit on the outside, similar to plums. They’re Middle Eastern natives who’ve been a part of the cuisine for thousands of years. Dates grow in huge clusters that resemble grape bunches and hang more than fifty feet off the ground.

Dates have a lot of sugar, and when the fruit dries, and the moisture evaporates, the sugar concentration increases. Dates, contrary to popular belief, are not totally dried or dehydrated, despite their wrinkled look. They can be consumed in a variety of forms, ranging from fresh to slightly dehydrated. If you had to compare a date to another fruit, you’d say it’s like a bigger, jammier, more caramel-y raisin. (Date sugar, which is made from dates, is used at trendy smoothie shops and “healthy” bakeries as a natural sweetener.)

Uses of Dates

Dates can be eaten whole or pitted and stuffed with a variety of ingredients, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan, or cream cheese. Stoned dates are another name for pitted dates. Pitted dates that have been partially dried and coated with glucose syrup can be used as a snack item.

Dates can also be cut and used in a variety of sweet and savory recipes, ranging from Moroccan tajines (tagines) to puddings, ka’ak (Arab biscuits), and other desserts. In the United States, date nut bread, a sort of cake, is particularly popular, especially around the holidays. Dates can also be made into cubes, spreads, date syrup or “honey” known as “dibs” or rub in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar, or alcohol.

Date-based vinegar was formerly a popular Middle Eastern delicacy. Chocolate-covered dates and sparkling date juice, a non-alcoholic variant of champagne used in several Islamic nations for special events and religious periods like Ramadan, are examples of recent inventions. It is customary for Muslims to eat a date for breakfast during Ramadan’s evening meal.


Plum is an edible pulp fruit that grows in Prunus Domestica and belongs to the Rosaceae family, which includes hawthorn and laurel of Portugal. Prunus Salicina, an Asian species, is also used in hybrid variants. The word plum derives from the Latin Pruna, which is the plural form of the word prunum.

The plum is an Asian fruit that would have made its way to the west via the Silk Road. The Egyptians, and later the Romans, had already mastered the art of sun-drying plums. They ultimately achieved success in France during the Renaissance, with one variation bearing Queen Claudia (Reine Claude Verte) in honor of King Francis I’s wife.

Plums are spherical, fleshy drupes with an almond center ranging from 2 to 7 cm in diameter and are yellow, green, or purple in hue. The plum plant has three subspecies: Quetsche, Queen Claudia, and Mirabel. The Japanese plum, which is larger than the preceding varieties, is the most recent addition to our market. The pulp is solid and juicy, with a sweet to tangy flavor. The skin is silky smooth, with a waxy exterior that sticks to the pulp.

This fruit can be eaten raw or processed into jams, plum juice (which can also be fermented into plum wine), or salted, dried plums.

Uses of Plums

There are other methods to incorporate plums into your diet, aside from eating them whole and preparing plum jam.

Plum Chow Chow

If you have unripe plums that aren’t yet sweet, you can use them in a variety of ways. To create plum pickles, place them in a glass jar and pickle them. For a quick chow chow recipe, chop them up into little slices and marinate them in pepper sauce and salt. If you want to go all out, you can prepare chow chow with peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and cabbage.

Grilled Plums

Did you know that plums may be grilled and used as a salad garnish or eaten plain? Grilling plum slices until they are lightly browned produces a crispy plum that is still sweet and flavorful. To prevent it from burning, brush it with olive oil or another oil before cooking.

Related to these: Different Types of Plums | Is Grilling Plums Possible? How? | Best Substitutes for Plums | When is the Plum Planting Season? | How Long Do Plums Grow?

Caramelized Plums

After they’ve been caramelized, plums make a lovely garnish for ice cream or salad. All you have to do is cut them into wedges and cook them in a little honey over low heat. This sweetens them even more and provides a wonderful garnish that you might want to eat on its own.

Plum Cake

If you don’t want to eat whole plums, what should you do with them? Cut them into little slices and mix them in with the cake batter. A few bits of plum, carefully folded into the batter to give it the benefit of fruity flavor, can be added to any cake you create.

Plum Sauce

Under-ripe plums can be used to make your own plum sauce. Simply purée them with a small amount of water or red pepper jelly. This glaze is delicious on duck, roasted chicken, or kebabs. To make your sauce really exceptional, add herbs and spicy pepper.

Plum Crisps

Plum crisp is a delicious dessert or breakfast dish that requires a bit more effort than the other suggestions featured. You’ll need completely ripened plums for this, and I think the greatest time to make a crisp is when the plums are still firm and not mushy. This sweet dish is delicious with a dollop of whipped cream on top or with ice cream.

Dates and plums are two distinct fruits with distinct properties, nutritional value, and uses. You can’t use one as a replacement for the other. Both of these fruits, on the other hand, stand out for all the correct reasons in their respective categories.

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