It's a Date

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Before moving to the Middle East, I only ever had dates in the form of a sticky date pudding once a year during Christmas time. To be honest I wasn't even sure what they tasted like on their own without being smothered in pudding, custard, ice cream and rich butterscotch deliciousness.

Basically date palms are to the Middle East what Eucalyptus trees are to Australia. You have to go out of your darn way to avoid them!

Ari being towered over by a date palm. 

Back to current day Bahrain, it is definitely date season. The dates grow in massive clusters that droop down off the palm tree, this was a foreign sight to me the first time I saw them as I'm more familiar with the tropical palms that have coconuts. And all the cartoon depictions of palm trees I ever saw growing up never ever had dates on them, only coconuts.

Clusters of unripe dates.

Our friends live on a compound that is not only lusciously green, it's also filled with date palms where these pictures were taken. In a few weeks time the date bunches will be cut off and left to dry out in the intense Bahrain heat and transform into little brown morels of gooey date-y goodness.

Most supermarkets have a date counter where there are a wide selection of dates to choose from. Big, small, varying levels of sweetness, soft, chewy or hard and also chocolate covered dates, dates stuffed with almonds or pistachios, dates in syrup, so many dates!

Lots of date palms with plenty of date clusters.

And just in case you wanted to know how they get to the dates, a little barefoot man climbs up it with just a rope to keep him from falling to his doom.

Pruning of the date palms.

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