Monday, May 08, 2006

Enter taverna, eat a date


…HA’s father’s half-sister used to send a tray of dates every Christmas. Yu-umm.

…This fruit is almost as old as recorded history. In fact, it got started in the area of our new client state Iraq and was one of the first plants deliberately farmed, rather than just harvested.

…Nowadays, date palms sometimes need some help to reproduce. Plants are male or female, the pollen must get from one to the other.

…Out here, volunteers brush the pollen on the right places by hand. They also bag up the developing fruit so the birds can’t get it.

…Dates are so soft, just washing them can sort of dissolve them.

…But these babies carry their nutritional weight. Ten of the shriveled beauties contain a fourth of your day’s potassium (needed for regular heart rhythm, among other things). Vitamins A, B, C, abd D also lurk within.

…Apparently dates are also a nice sticky form of medicine. The Arabs have more than 300 medicinal uses. One use that continues into the West is as a chest poultice for colds.

…You wouldn’t have to work too hard to get that one to stay on!

...(Let HA know how that turns out, that poultice, if you try it, OK? She is trying to imagine lying in bed with brown jam on her chest.)

2 comments:

Ade said...

I bought a pound of dates quite a few weks ago and don't know whether they should be eaten as they are bought? Or should they be prepared in some way? Cooked? Or baked? Also, is it ok to eat them after keeping them for so long in the refrigerator? Thanks so much for any ideas. :o) Rosa

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