Super exclusive Black Sphinx dates only grow in one Arcadia neighborhood.

Black Sphinx Dates

Written by Shelby Moore Category: Local Products Issue: May 2017
Group Free

Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry
3039 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale

Every Phoenician, established or otherwise, knows how to get to San Diego’s beaches – just hop on the I-8 and drive west until there’s no I-8 anymore. So easy to get to, so difficult to return home from.
To ease any road-trip woes that might befall you, stop off the I-8 at Dateland for one of its famous date shakes – made with Medjools, a particularly beloved, meaty breed with hints of caramel.

However, you don’t have to navigate a barren desert highway to get your hands on nature’s power fruit. Owners Sharyn and Rebecca Seitz make a mean Medjool shake of their own at Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry, located south of Old Town Scottsdale. They also sell Medjools by the pound ($9.25) and, true to the shop’s name, will offer another option come fall: the Black Sphinx date ($10/12 oz.). It grows, so far as anyone knows, only in Arizona, only in Phoenix, and only in one neighborhood in Arcadia. These singular dates are thin-skinned and taste like caramel and roasted marshmallows. Because they are difficult to transport long distances (unlike their hardier Medjool cousins), they remain a regional delicacy.

Whether you cherish Medjools or ultra-rare Black Sphinxes, treat your family and friends to a shake date: Take a carton home, pit a handful and pulse them directly into your favorite vanilla milkshake recipe.

— Shelby Moore