Get your Free Dates here! Have you ever walked into a grocery store and saw a decorative box of fresh medjool dates by the fruit section. Being an avid Costco Warehouse Store Shopper I thought these boxes of dates where samples and always made sure to grab one or two. It wasn’t until I sampled a date in front of another shopper that it was pointed out to me that the dates where $8.79 a pound and that I really should be more thoughtful being that a bag of 1 pound of dates was equivalent to about 15 dates. I was so mortified for the first 15 seconds and then I sprang into laughter over the whole date ordeal. I thanked the customer for educating me on the fact that the dates where for sale, and remarked at how surprised I was given that the price was not directly over the box, but written off to the side. The shopper really didn’t believe my excuse but walked on.
I must have eaten at least 3 pounds of free dates over the past year, being that I always grabbed 2 for me and one each for my 2 children. How horrific I felt; yet I did it with innocence never once thinking that I was …STEALING. Wow, I was stealing dates! The worst part of it was that my mother and father in law where date farmers, why if I really wanted to eat great quality medjool dates all I had to do was drive down a few miles into the Coachella Valley to the families date farm and get a whole box of my own, for free.
Later that very week I was at my favorite Costco when I noticed this elderly lady in the refrigerator department sampling wild berries. Sampling was really to kind a word considering she had nearly devoured half the box. It was $8.99 for the box. I was truly mortified. When it hit me, my eating the medjool dates was just as bad an offense as hers. Although I am sure she was aware you are not supposed to be doing that, and at the time I really believed the box was for sampling dates. I must admit I was embarrassed to return to the grocery store that I had eaten so many medjool dates from. This lady who appalled me was a reflection of my self to the shopper who was brave enough to correct me.
I told my husband what had happened and he was even more appalled at my ignorance of dates and their value. Thus began the three hour lecture on the value of a date and why they are so costly. Since then he has had me blogging and studying the medjool date and other dates because he firmly believes we will one day take over that date farm.
Today I am no expert on dates, by far. The truth is dates have a truly rich extraordinary history. Cultivating the date has so many tricks of the trade and requirements that I still am a newbie to the industry. One thing however is clear, I now know that those pretty little boxes of dates are for sale, not sampling. The store manager refused my box of dates and refused payment understanding why I had felt the way I did. Today when I walk into that grocery store the dates are clearly marked for sale, my question is, why didn’t they do that before instead of putting the price off to the side and not giving it its own corner space like every other fruit in the market. Dates are special and they need to be treated as such. But then again, had it not been for the grocery stores date mistake, I would have never had had the privileged of truly understanding and respecting the date.
When Mary was giving birth to Christ, Mary was having excruciating labor pains. She was unable to continue to move forward and fell at the base of a Date Palm Tree. She was in so much pain she prayed for death in order to get some relief. Suddenly the child Jesus spoke to her from inside her body and told her to be of good cheer. He told her to shake the Palm Tree and that dates would fall on her lap. Mary obeyed the commands of her unborn child in her womb. The dates fell into her lap as she shook the palm tree. She took a date into her hand and ate it. Almost immediately her pain left her. Thus it is advised that all expectant mothers nourish themselves with dates. It is believed that it will increase the quality and quantity of the mother’s milk and be of great benefit to the newborn child.
The medicinal views are many and maybe folklore or fact. It is believed that any ailment from fevers to impotence can be treated with the date diet. In fact it was said to be able to protect you from being poisoned and betrayal. It is said to give strength to the sick, for treating chest pain, and cough. In addition the date palm tree’s fruit also is said to be for nervousness, kidney trouble, and as a tonic for the stomach. The male flowers are in fact supposed to be a male aphrodisiac when prepared in a salad with lemon. Studies have shown that those whose diets were to eat dates as a staple, did not have problems with digestion. So you be the judge, truth or folklore?
Is the date palm fruit descended from the Garden of Eden? In the most widely told version of Islamic tales it is said that the Arch angel Gabriel by Gods bidding told Adam in the Garden of Eden, to cut his hair and his fingernails and bury the clippings in the ground. From that spot sprung a fully grown date palm tree with clusters of ripe delicious juicy dates. Adam fell to his knees and thanked the Angel whereby the angle stated that we are created of the same material as the tree, which henceforth shall nourish us. The tale goes on to say that Satan appeared shortly after and asked why Adam was worshiping a tree. Upon being told of what happened he became so angry that he shed tears of rage. As his tears wet the palm tree’s roots, they brought up sharp spines, that to this day grow on the base of leaves.
Since the palm trees are of man is this why we share similar characteristics with the palm; We both have 2 sexes, the palm tree parishes when exposed to too much strain, and when its head is cut off it will die promptly. The palm tree has a ancient and romantic history. The tree is in fact one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world.
The date palm tree has served as the staple to the Middles East and the Sahara Desert, as rice, potatoes and wheat has served in other cultures. There has been extensive research on the origin, biology and habitat of the tree, but even today, no one can, with certainty, pinpoint its original home. Dating from civilizations goes back as far as 6 thousand years ago according to some studies, all the way back to the Mesopotamia, which today is the borders of modern Iraq. This does not mean the trees originated from there, in fact there is no data telling where the date palm tree originated. The most detailed ancient records on the date palm and its cultivation date back to the Code of Hammuabi, the earliest king of the first Babylonian dynasty. The portions of the code dedicated to it talk of regulating the sale of the date palm, and renting it as well as the cultivation of date orchards. It is also interesting to note that the date palm is made reference to in the Bible. In the book of Psalms it notes “that the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.” Thus the date palm tree is rich in its history and its history is told in many great tales dating back to as far as man can communicate.