After many years of trying to lose weight, I finally tried Weight Watchers. Although the going has been a bit slow, it has been steady; and I am very pleased overall with the result. But in entering into this new life-weight loss-plan I rediscovered a wonderful fruit that I loved to eat when I was small. Born in Southern California, I was very much aware of the date-growing industry in Indio, California. I recall traveling to Indio on Sunday drives and seeing the enormous date farms and trying to swig down deliciously thick malted shakes made from dates.
But for this article, I would like to speak to my especial rediscovery of the ‘Medjool’ date. I discovered the the Medjool date (the Cadillac of dates) originally came from Morocco. For centuries it was served to royalty and dignitaries. But in the 1920’s a disease threatened the date-growing industry in Morocco. The Chariff of Morocco sent eleven immature palms to replant in the United States.
The date palm is known as ‘The Tree of Life’ to the Muslim people, and is a holy symbol. It has been used for everything from basket-weaving to fuel, and not to mention – food!
Date palms are the oldest cultivated tree in the world, dating back to more than 5,000 years. It sustained the nomadic tribes of the Middle East and North Africa.
For more information about dates in general, follow these links:
Phoenix dactylifera (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medjool
General search for ‘date palms’: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=date+palms&go=&form=QBRE