Anyone who still views dates as a mess of stickiness in a box bearing a desert oasis has some catching up to do. Bateel dates from Harrod's (100g, £3.50, pictured) claim to be 'the world's only gourmet date experience'. The meltingly soft fruit convey a distinctly Middle Eastern version of luxury. The ones stuffed with candied orange peel work particularly well. Tesco Finest Stuffed Dates (197g, £5) include Medjool and Deglet Nour filled with pistachio, marzipan and (best of all) walnut. For addicts, M&S Medjool Dates (330g, £4.99) contain 18 classy unadorned fruit, sufficient for several moments of bliss or one massive splurge.