Saturday, June 26, 2010

Date me

I have a sweet tooth and I absolutely slobber when I see dates. It is the one of the few middle eastern treats that I adore devouring.

If you've never had a date, maybe you should try deodourant. har har har. I couldn't resist. Eating a date is like biting into a giant raisin, except instead of the grape taste, you taste something akin to maple syrup. They are delectable little things, though they are very high in sugar content. The locals will sometimes tell you it's a 'healthy sugar', which is probably baloney, but don't argue, just chew. If you argue, you might not get another one! Quick how many can you stuff into your purse while no one's looking? On our last trip to Dubai they kept an unlimited supply at the front desk of the hotel and I routinely made up excuses to walk by and grab them. I usually eat four or five of them at a time and typically stop one date short of feeling completely sick.

I should probably write something cultural about where they come from, about date factories and such and such, but then I don't really care - I only care about where to get more of them. The softer the better. Any suggestions out there?


Dentographer said...

you should try the Red Dates,even though the taste completely different than the dates u had,but they do have a unique taste that is a personal favourite,the have a texture that feels like apples on biting,and also they suck the water from your mouth for a split second,but they are sweet and i just love them

also,next time you try the dates,try them with a sip of the arabian cardamom coffee,to have the full saudi experience of it.
another suggestion is Laban,which is a yougert drink that you find in all the supermarket in the dairy section next to milk.

those two drinks are the usual drinks in saudi that are found adjacent to dates and served with them when they are available.

give the red dates a try,and let me know what do you think!

Stacy said...

Have you been to Kingdom Dates on Olaya Rd? (South of Faisaliah Tower, opp. Computer Souk.)

I haven't but have driven past quite a few times and believe that it may be the nirvana of dates. I've been keen to learn what makes each of the variety of dates you find in the supermarket so different from each other. I bought the expensive ones coz expensive is better right?

Maybe I'll write about it when I find out. There's a date palm in my compound with bunches of freshly growing dates. I've been watching it to see what happens and I imagine I'll know when they're ripe when they suddenly disappear one day (knocked off by the workers no doubt).

Orchidthief said...

Red dates huh? Okay I will have to try them! I will look for Laban as well...I will post back here after I've tried them with a full report ;)

Yes Stacy, I am also clueless when it comes to that rack of dates in the grocery store. I never know which ones to buy and I typically just pick a box that looks expensive. But they are often hard =( ...I haven't gone to any date stores, so lemme know if you ever pop in and what you think.

Anonymous said...

Most Saudis buy Dates from local vendors. Usually in bulk (10 Kilos or more at a time) because dates by their very nature are excellently preserved.

The best way to choose which dates to buy?

Taste them! Buy a small sample. Expensive does not equal good in the world of dates.

BTW, the sweetest type of date is the Khilassa cultivar locally produced in Al Ahsa, it's the sticky black one you find squashed into blocks :) . (Khilassa means "essence" in Arabic)

Orchidthief said...

Ohhh...local vendors, huh? 10 kilos at a time? wow. I never would have guessed but I suppose that makes a lot of sense. I will duly report back when I have gathered enough date experience.

Orchidthief said...

dentographer I now have a large box of dates that I have been eating out of since yesterday. We went to a fancy date shop and I tried only a handful of different kinds until I was all sugared out. My new favourite is one that is stuffed with sesame paste. wow! And having it with Laban was such a great suggestion!! The flavours really balance each out perfectly!

Neuv said...

they are pretty sweet, as in you'd-be-sick-after-a-couple-of-them sweet, but I read that theres a high nutritional value to them -source: -
such a fun blog, I think i'm going to subscribe :)