Date Night

The hottest date in town

Ronald Cabral is a fruit whisperer.

When we visited Cabral, owner of Palmero Dates & Nuts, at the New Amsterdam Market, he pored over each of his carefully packed Medjool dates, searching for tiny imperfections or crystallizations, determined to sell only the best.

Cabral is an impassioned advocate for high-quality dates and Livermore red walnuts, and used to supply Per Se before transferring his business to California to be closer to his sources.

Lucky for us, he is now back on the East Coast.

His red walnuts are visually stunning–and earthier-tasting than the familiar variety–and are an outstanding addition to salads or a streusel topping for baked fruit. The dates are sweet, but not cloyingly so, and have a honeyed intensity that obliterates memories of bodega trail mixes and bulk-bin fruits.

Cabral plays middleman for farms that grow a myriad of uncommon date types, including Deglet Noor, Khadrawy and more. This season, he is only selling Medjools, but expect more kinds in the coming months. We're particularly excited to try his Barhi dates, a small variety with caramel candylike notes.

Palmero Dates & Nuts are available at all Brooklyn and Manhattan Union Market locations.