Friday, September 30, 2005

So, how many DATES have YOU eaten????

Me, well I must admit there are some dates I would not eat : 25th December seems a bit inedible, and 22nd January would probably give you indigestion, but all other dates seem ok, what do you say??

Then, of course I would never eat a date on the first date - convent bred and all that!

But, I do LOVE fruit dates (no, not fruity dates with limp wrists)

What am I going on about ??????


Well, I told you that the date palms here are laden with the most delicious, tempting fruit and I have had to literally slap myself to stop myself from plundering the roadside palms and scoffing their fruits. (Was not, and am still not, sure if one could be arrested/beheaded/deported for such wanton acts of greed and depravity!)

But, then one day, after driving past miles and miles and miles of the golden sun-ripened dates, I threw caution to the wind (ha, what wind?), pulled over, leapt out of the car and grabbed myself a couple of handfuls of the dates. (Who could resist??) I scuttled back into the car and surveyed my treasure - they were about the size of my thumb, golden on top and dark brown on the bottom. Eeww, first problem - the brown bottom bit was all squishy and soft - nice from far, but far from nice. Ok, so I ignored the bottom half and proceeded to munch on the tasty yellow bit at the top. EEWW blechh, second problem - it was hard and crunchy like an apple and tasted like .... well, not sure what....., but definitely NOT GOOD!! I spat out the half chomped bits and hurled the rest out of the car window.

I wondered where I had gone wrong - maybe they need to be processed, like olives, before being edible. I asked one of the local guys the next day. He slowly shook his head and said : "No madam, you not eat dates on side of road, they for camels only!" Yup, I had been munching the inedible dates which they feed to the animals! Of course, DH and DD have had a field day with teasing me about THIS experience!!

Little footnote :
In Islam it is forbidden to eat two dates (or cherries, or similar things) at the same time, and if you do, you must ask permission first!


moryarti said...

Little footnote :
In Islam it is forbidden to eat two dates (or cherries, or similar things) at the same time, and if you do, you must ask permission first!

Say what?!

secretdubai said...

The brown bit is the tasty bit - it's where the starch has converted to sugar, and is really sweet and tasty.

The yellow (sometimes red/orange) "hard" bit can be nice, but is often rather astringent on the tongue.

Roadside dates may not be the finest dates, but they are certainly edible, if not tasty enough. In former days, a travelling bedouin wouldn't have sniffed at any fresh dates to sustain him on his path.

And ditto moryati: I have never heard this "two date" thing. It strikes me as odd because you can buy compressed dates - so how do you know if you are eating a squished bit of one or several dates?!

Btw: try buying a range of different dates (eg one or two each of several varieties) from Bateel and see while ones you like best. It's amazing how much they vary. We sadly bought a huge box of nice-looking dates from the supermarket the other day, but they are literally inedible. Papery inside and out, and completely dry, stringy and tasteless. I wouldn't even feed them to a starving camel ;)

Lulu said...

This is what the article said :


The strongest evidence is that it is makrouh to eat two dates at the
same time
- Because it may cause you harm
- Imam Josie said that if he takes more than two dates, he must ask
permission from his brother, (this is about when you are eating
- In this case it is not regarding two in the mouth at the same time,
but eating more than your share. If you want to eat excess of your
share, then you should ask permission from the others that are
- Two dates in your mouth at the same time, is a sign of greediness

And this is where I found it :

moryarti said...

AAAh... that makes more sense :)

There is a fine line between Haram (forbidden) and Makrooh (discouraged or diskliked)...

secretdubai said...

Stuffing two whole dates in your mouth maybe, but if they are smooshed up in "date honey" it might be more difficult to observe this one ;)

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