Roadside stands all around date growing county in California sell creamy sweet date shakes in big to go cups with thick straws. The rest of us have to be satisfied with making our own. It's not difficult to make, though, and these shakes with their mellow caramel flavor are easy to whip up. The combination of pureed dates and vanilla ice cream gives the shakes an incomparable smooth, rich texture and a lovely pale coffee with cream color. For the most intense flavor, use Medjool dates, a high end date that originated in Morocco but is relatively easy to find in the U.S. Medjools are recognizable by their large size and their soft golden brown to molasses brown skin. For a less intense shake, go with the more delicate Deglet Noor dates. These smaller, caramel colored dates account for about 75 percent of California's date crop and are often what we find in grocery stores. If you don't have drinking straws handy, it might be a good idea to buy a box. A shake always tastes best drawn up through a fat straw.