Black Sphinx Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Black Sphinx Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

The Black Sphinx date is unique among dates because it is a “wet” date, meaning it is juicier and has a creamier consistency than dry dates.

In addition to their remarkable, dark black skin, these dates are prized for their extraordinary sweetness and complex taste, which includes notes of caramel, toffee, and even chocolate as well.

Let’s dive deeper into the rich history of Black Sphinx dates and its benefits! 

Origin, Geographical Presence and Seasonal Availability

Black Sphinx Dates have a long history that can be dated back to 1928 and were formerly known to be found solely in an area called Mount Grove, located at 47th Street and Lafayette.

Roy Franklin located the Black Sphinx date in 1928 near Arcadia. After confirming that the strange seedling he had discovered was a novel hybrid, Franklin urged the people of Arcadia to cultivate the mysterious plant that would later be known as the Black Sphinx.

Franklin persuaded benefactor Ellen Amelia Goodbody Brophy to give him 47 acres of land in Arcadia, a small neighbourhood between Phoenix and Scottsdale. The original plant was propagated by the planting of cuttings in the 1930s and 1940s.

After Franklin and Brophy’s passing, their son took over the grove and ran it as the Sphinx Date Ranch until the ’60s.

The ranch was sold and subdivided into home lots during this period of Phoenix’s growth, and the resulting community is now known as Mount Grove. Some homeowners still use the trees they were left with to produce and sell Black Sphinx dates.

Date palms reproduce not by seeds but via shoots that emerge from the trunk. They can no longer produce new palms once they reach a certain age.

Many of the Black Sphinx date trees in the Arcadia area may soon reach this age since they are estimated to live for at least 80 more. The difficulty of harvesting has increased as the trees have aged because of their height and placement.

It is still possible to find Black Sphinx khajur trees in Arcadia Gardens today. Even though the trees in Arcadia are still bearing fruit, the sole remaining grove of Black Sphinx dates is found north of Phoenix.

Additionally, Black Sphinx dates are also grown in Arizona, expanding their cultivation beyond their historical origins in Arcadia.

Seasonal availability

20 years ago, Black Sphinx dates used to be harvested in November. However, they are harvested in September. It ripens earlier now because of the higher temperatures and heavy rain causes the fruit to mature quickly.

Characteristics of Black Sphinx Khajoor

Appearance & Texture

Black Sphinx dates - origin - texture - taste - price - culinary benefits - nutritional benefits

Black Sphinx dates are fairly small in size, ranging in colour from dark mahogany to black.

They average 4 centimetres in length and 2.5 centimetres in width. Their skin tends to be very thin.

When the dates are fully developed and dried, the fruits are very tender, and the thin skin has a wrinkled look.

Their meltingly soft, fibreless, delicate flesh encases a solitary, elongated seed.

Black Sphinx khajoor has a slightly wrinkled but still fairly smooth texture.

It is soft and juicy in texture despite its thin, dark mahogany skin. The meat has a velvety texture.


Black Sphinx dates have a flavour like honey, with hints of caramel and vanilla. Date experts praise the Black Sphinx’s flavour almost as much as its texture because of its uniqueness.

It’s rich like ganache or nut butter, although it has more fibre and isn’t completely uniform in smoothness, but it has an intricate creaminess.

Moisture content

In general, dates will have a moisture content of 25 to 30%. And black sphinx in particular have a slightly lower moisture content of about 20 to 25%.

Nutritional Values in Black Sphinx Dates

Dates from the Black Sphinx variety are particularly high in fibre, potassium, manganese, copper, and B-complex vitamins. They provide calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium in addition to the antioxidant-rich polyphenols.

Average Nutritional Value per 100 g of black sphinx dates
Carbs80 g
Fat0.4 g
Protein2.8 g
Sugars73 g
Dietary Fiber7 g

Culinary Uses of Black Sphinx Khajur

Culinary uses of Black Sphinx Dates

Raw Black Sphinx dates are delicious, and they may be used in any recipe calling for dates. Their mild consistency works wonderfully in milkshakes, ice creams, smoothies, and recipes calling for almond or other nut kinds of milk.

They are a suitable substitute for sugar and honey in baking. While chopped date is a great addition to salads, salsas, chutneys, and sauces, black Sphinx dates are also perfect for Moroccan tagines or with roasted meats like chicken and lamb.

You can use them in any way you like, be it savoury dishes or sweet. It depends on your personal taste. You can add them to your breakfast cereals for a nutritional boost or just have them as a snack throughout the day for an energy boost.


The average price of Black Sphinx dates is 15 USD per pound in the USA and 1200-1300 INR per pound in India.

Where to Buy?

You can buy black sphinx dates online on the below websites.



Final Thoughts:

Black Sphinx dates are a rare and delicious variety of dates. Without a doubt, black dates have their place in a balanced diet. 

You may eat them fresh or dry, or prepare them in a meal, and you will get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals every time. They are an exotic and tasty alternative if you are seeking a new kind of date to try.

If you like Black Sphinx dates, you will certainly like Halaway dates which have a similar flavour, Halawi has a rich honey-like flavour like black sphinx dates and they are both slightly larger than other varieties of dates. Medjool dates have a similar flavour to Black sphinx khajoor.

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