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Date shake facts for kids

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Date shake
Pumpkin Date Shake (15682000686).jpg
Course Beverage
Place of origin United States
Region or state Coachella Valley
Created by Russ Nicholl
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredients Dates, ice cream
Variations Fresh, sugar crystal
Shields Date Garden, Indio, California (8602634203)
40'-tall "knight" highway sign for Shields Date Garden, Indio, California

A date shake is a milkshake made with dates. The drink originated in, and is particularly associated with, the Coachella Valley in California.


A date shake is typically made with a base of milk or ice cream and blended; a shake can contain about 1/2 cup of dates.

Another method, invented in 1936 by Shield's Date Garden, involves the use of date crystals, dried "nubbins" of dates that are sweetened with date sugar. The crystals are then mixed with water to create a paste before being blended with other ingredients. An alternative method involves baking the dates, which are then blended to a paste-like consistency.

Date shakes are high in fiber, iron, potassium, and niacin. They have a high sugar and calorific content.


In 1928, Russ Nicholl (sometimes spelled Nichol) and his family built a roadside shack near Thermal, California. Another news source states that Nichol built his shack in 1919. A few years later, this shack was expanded and named Valerie Jean after Nicholl's daughter. With electricity and refrigeration, the Nicholls were able to offer variations of ingredients blended with their supply of dates. Nichol was reportedly inspired by stories of nomads in the Middle East who he heard "lived entirely on dates and goat’s milk".

In 1924 Floyd and Bess Shields opened the Shields Date Garden in Indio to compete with the quickly growing date industry in Coachella Valley.

The Coachella Valley has numerous date shake shops, many of them are located on Highway 111. The small desert town of Westmoreland, where medjool dates are grown, and Indio, where Shields is located, are known for their date shakes. The drink has been called the "unofficial drink of the Coachella Valley" or the "unofficial drink of Palm Springs."

They are a popular drink at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival and during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Date Palm Grove, Coachella Valley, Southern California (7684020378)
Date Palm Grove, Coachella Valley, Southern California
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