Thursday, December 27, 2007

Medjool Dates

On a quick run to a grocery store we don't usually frequent, I saw a box filled with loose dates in the fruit section. The dates were being sold by the pound - at $5.00 per pound. I thought dates would be a fun thing to try - so I bought three of them. One for each of the kids and one for me...ended up costing about 25 cents each.

The only time I've ever tasted dates was all chopped up inside some type of "date bar" my mom used to make - and to be honest - it was never one of her "dainties" that I liked. The kids had never tasted dates before - and I was careful not to say "they're just like raisins" because dd HATES raisins.

For some reason they were apprehensive to taste the date...the girl took one bite and said "it's awful" and then quickly popped one of her canned water chestnuts into her mouth (she could eat almost a whole can in one sitting). The boy was scared now - he took a small nibble and and said "it's halfway" - which didn't make sense to me, so I asked for clarification... "half good and half bad".

I wish I could have "made" them eat the whole date because if they really tried to have an open mind about it, I think they could like the taste.

It looks like a giant, puffy raisin - very wrinkly, which adds to its charm. It was very sweet and chewy and had a kind of brown sugar or caramel taste to it. Hmmm I wonder if I had told the kids it was a chewy candy if their reaction would have been different.

Inside the date there is a pit or seed that looks like a walnut piece.

Reading about dates - I did not realize they grew on a type of palm tree. Here is a cool picture of the dates hanging on the tree.

Seems like quite a bit of the date palm tree can be eaten...the leaves are eaten as vegetables and the seeds can be ground up and mixed with flour to make bread and the flowers and flower buds can also be eaten. In some countries they harvest the sap from the tree and can make a type of sugar or molasses from it.


Mary@notbefore7 said...

wow - good for you all for trying them!

Foundation Academy said...

I bought way too many dates for a recipe I tried(which we all disliked). It kills me to throw away food though, so I stuck the remainder in the fridge. (You know to be thrown away with other "experiments" at a later date.) The kids LOVE them! I tried one (telling myself it's just like a raisin) but wanted to gag directly afterward. . .

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